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From the Accession op Philip to the Accession of Antiochus Soter. 
B.C. 359 to B.C. 280. 

Philip of Macedon. — B.C. 359 to b.c. 336. 


Accession of Philip — His first successes — The Macedonian monarchy — Education 
and character of Philip — His relations to Athens — Capture of AmphipoUs and 
Pydna— The Social War— The Sacred War— The Amphictyons— Phihp in Thes- 
saly — Stopped at Thermopylaj by the Athenians— Sparta and MegalopoUs — 
Demosthenes— The First Phihppic- Peace Party at Athens— Phocion— The 
Olynthian war — JEschines — Peace between Athens and Philip — End of the Sa- 
cred War— Demosthenes and Isocrates on the Peace— Progress of Philip — New- 
war with Athens— PhiUp m Scythia— The Locrian War— Phihp general of the 
Amphictyons— Capture of Elatea— Alhance of Thebes and Athens— Battle of 
Chffironea— Death of Isocrates— Demosthenes "on the Crown "—Philip general 
of the Greeks for the Persian War— Death of PhiUp . . . 1—31 


The Conquests of Alexander. — b.c 336 TcfB.c. 323. 

Accession of Alexander — His character and education — His early pubUc life— Quar- 
rel with his father, and outward reconciUation — State of Greece at his accession 
—Second congress of Corinth— Alexander and Diogenes— Campaigns in Illyria 
and Thrace— Revolt of Thebes and Athens— Destruction of Thebes— Submission 
of Athens— State of the Persian empire : rebellions and dissolution— Greek mer- 
cenaries — Bagoas, Mentor, and Memnon— Reconquest of Cyprus, Phoenicia, and 
Egypt— Accession of Darius Codomannus— Events preceding the invasion — 
State of feehng in Greece — Policy of Demosthenes- True view of Alexander's 
conquest— Constitution of the Macedonian army— Antipater left as regent of 
Macedonia— Small force of Alexander— His departure from Pella, and rendez- 
vous at Sestos— Alexander at Troy— Battle of the Granicus— Conquest of Asia 
Mmor— Siege of Halicarnassus— Death of Memnon— The Gordian knot— Battle 
of Issus— Capture of Tyre and Gaza— Conquest of Egypt— Visit to the oracle of 
Ammon — Foundation of Alexandria— Alexander passes the Euphrates — Battle 
of Arbela— Alexander at Persepohs— Death of Darius— March mto Hyrcania, 
Drangiana, and Bactria— Death of Philotas— Alexander crosses the Paropami- 
sus and Oxus— Reaches the Jaxartes— Conquers Sogdiana— Murder of Clitus— 
Marries Roxana — Death of Calisthenes— Invasion of India— Defeat of Porus — 
Alexander is compelled to turn back from the Hyphasis — Voyage down the Hy- 
daspes and Indus— Voyage of Nearchus to the Persian Gulf— March through the 
Desert of Gedrosia— Return to Susa— Alexander marries the daughter of Darius 
— Other mtermarriages with Persians — Mutmy of the army- Death of Hephaes- 
"*■ tion — ^Alexander at Babylon — His vast schemes — His death . . 32 — 81 



DinsiON OF Alesa>"der'3 Empire. From the Death of Alexandeh to ths 
Accession op A>tiochu3 Soter. — b.c. 322 to b.c. 280. 


Settlement of the kingdom on Philip Aridseus — Perdiccas regent — ^Division of the 
provinces — The Diadochi — Funeral of Alexander — Birth of Alexander ^gus — 
The Lamian war — Perdiccas and Eumenes, Antipater and Olympias — Death of 
Perdiccas — New partition of the Provinces — War of Eumenes with Antigonus — 
Death of Eumenes — Murder of Philip Aridteus — Cassander master of Greece, 
Antigonus of Asia — CoaUtion against Antigonus — Demetrius Pohorcetes — Bat- 
tle of Gaza — General pacification — Murder of Alexander ^gus — Renewal of the 
war — ^Ptolemy in Greece — Battle of Salamis in Cyprus — The generals become 
kings — Siege of Rhodes — Demetrius in Greece — Successes of Seleucus Nicator 
— ^New coaUtion against Antigonus — ^Battle of Ipsus — The Hellenistic kingdoms 
— Syria — Egypt — Pergamus — Bactria 82 — 92 

Last Years of Liberty in Greece. From the Death of At.eyaxder to 

the rise of the ACHJEAJf LEAGUE. — B.C. 334 TO B.C. 280. 

Condition of Greece at Alexander's departure — Athens and Sparta — Movements of Agis 
— His defeat and death — ^^schines and Demosthenes — Affair of Harpalus — Ex- 
ile of Demosthenes — Alexander's edict for restoring the exiles — ^ESect of Alex- 
ander's death — The Lamian war — Victory of Antipater — Deaths of Hvperides, 
Demosthenes, and Demades — Polysperchon — ^Proclamation of Greek liberty — 
Death of Phocion — Cassander master of Athens — Demetrius the Phalerean — 
Cassander in Peloponnesus — Fortification of Sparta — Affairs of Macedonia — 
Restoration of Thebes — Successes of Antigonus in Greece — General pacification 
— Cassander master of Macedonia and Greece — Demetrius Pohorcetes at Athens 
— EQs second visit — Successful war with Cassander — Recall to Asia, and return 
to Greece — Repulse from Athens — Death of Cassander — Phihp HI., Antipater, 
and Alexander — Demetrius Pohorcetes takes Athens — King of Macedonia — His 
wars in Greece — "With Pvrrhus and Lysimachus — His flight to Asia, imprison- 
ment and death — Expulsion of Pyrrhus by Lysimachus — Anarchy in Macedonia 
— Antigonus Gonatas and his dynasty — ^Death of Lysimachus — Pyrrhus in Italy 
— Lruption of the G^ils — Rise of the ^Etohan and Achaean Leagues — Connec- 
tion of Greece with the West — Sicihan and Itahan Greeks — Agathocles — Litera- 
ture and art during the Macedonian period — Schools of philosophy . 93 — 128 



From the Earliest Accounts to the subjugation op Italy by Rome, in 

B.C. 264. 


Italy asd its Primitive Populations. 

Rome and her empire — Its relation to Italy — Description of the Peninsula — The Alps 
and Apennines — Comparison with Greece — Natural unity of Italy — Its primi- 
tive inhabitants — Its three cliief stocks — The lapygian race — The Itahan race 
— Its two divisions, Latin and SabeUian — The Etruscans — Their country — Their 
origin — Tyrrhenians and Rasenna — The Etruscan Language — Their early power 
by land and sea — Relations to Greece and Carthage — Their dechne and con- 



quest by the Romans — The Etruscan confederacy — Their religious institutions 
— Etruscan art and science — Architecture — Sepulchres — Statuary and metal- 
work — ^Paintings — Domestic life — Science, borrowed by the Romans . 129 — 149 


Rome t7>t)er the Eoxgs. 

The Campagna and surrounding hills — The Tiber : its course and character — The site 
of Rome — Its primeval aspect — Description of its Seven Hills — Mythical charac- 
ter of the early Roman history — Evander — J!)neas — Ascanius and the Alban 
kings — Legend of Romulus and Remus — Romans and Sabmes — Institutions 
and conquests ascribed to Romulus — His death and apotheosis — Roman chro- 
nology — Era of the foundation of Rome — Interregnum — Legend of Xuma Pom- 
piUus — His reUgious and social institutions — The Roman calendar — The sub- 
sequent kings of Rome — Discussion of the legends — Latm origin of Rome — 
Early settlements on the Seven Hills — The city of the Ramnes on the 
Palatine— Two principal theories of its origm — ^First, as a robber colony 
of Alba, extended by war, conquered and remodelled by the Sabines — Char- 
acter and institutions of this people — The settlement on the Quirinal, and 
imion -with the Ramnians — The second theory of a natural growth from Latin 
settlements on the Seven Hills — Rome viewed as the emporium of Latium — Ex- 
tent of the primitive city — The original Septimontium — Amalgamation with the 
city on the Quirinal — Tullus HostiUus — Legend of the Horatiiand Curiatii, and 
of the conquest of Alba — Etruscan and Sabine wars — Ancus Marcius — His con- 
quests in Latium and along the Tiber — His works at Rome — Origin of the Plebs 
The Etruscan dynasty — Tarquinius Priscus — His institutions, wars, and pubUc 
works — Servius TulUus — His new constitution — The walls of Rome — Alliance 
with the Latins — Legend of his death — Tarquinius Superbus — His foreign al- 
liances and wars — The Sibyl — Taking of Gabii — L. Junius Brutus — The legend 
of Lucretia — Expulsion of the Tarquins — Review of Regal Rome . 150 — 216 


The Patrician Rephbuc. From the Espcxsion of the Tarqcins to the 
Taking op Rome by the Gauxs. — b.c. 509 to b.c. 390. 

Beginning of the Republic — ^Institution of the Consulate — Brutus and Collatinus con- 
suls — Retirement of Collatinus — Conspiracy for the Tarquins — Brutus and his 
sons — Death of Brutus — Valerius Poplicola — Right of appeal — Treaty with 
Carthage — Dedication of the Capitol — Legend of Lars Porsenna — Battle of the 
Lake Regillus — Sabine War — Immigration of the Claudii — End of the mythical 
period of Roman history — Real state of Rome — Conquest by Porsenna — Re- 
pulse of the Etruscans — Independence of Latium — Institution of the Dictator- 
Bhip — The Senate — Rise of a new nobility — Tlie constitution aristocratic — Posi- 
tion of the Plebeians — Distress of the small landholders — Consulsliip of Claudius 
and Servilius — 51. Valerius dictator — Secession to the Sacred Mount — Tribunes 
of the Plebs and Plebeian iEdiles — Colony sent to Velitras — Continued dissen- 
sions — Legend of Coriolanus — Spurius Cassius — Treaties with the Latins and 
Hernicans — Wars with the Volscians and ^quians — Agrarian law of Spmius 
Cassius — His death — Wai-s with the Etruscans — Legend of the Fabii at the Cre- 
mera — Impeachment of consuls — Murder of the tribune Genucius — PubUlian law 
— ^Impeachment of Appius Claudius — Rogation of Terentilius — Long conflict of 
the orders — .Equian and Volscian wars — Story of Cmcinnatus — The Decemvirs 
— Laws of the Twelve Tables — Story of Virginia — Second Secession of the Plebs 
— ^Fall of the Decemvirs — Valerian and Horatian laws — Military Tribunes in 
place of consuls — Institution of the Censorship — Famine at Rome — Death of 
MseUus — ^7ar with the Etruscans, JEquians, and Volscians — Victory at Mount 
Algidus — Rise of the Samnites — Fall of Fidena; — Last war with Veil — Draining 
of the Alban lake — Legend of Camillus and the fall of Veil — Agrarian law — 
Banishment of Camillus — The Gauls in Etruria .... 217 — 25S 

viu cx)irrEjn's. 


Waks vrrva the Latiss A^^) Samnites. From the taking of Rome by the 
Gauls to the esd of the SAicoTE "Wars. — b.c. 390 to b.c. 290. 


The remoter nations of the ancient world — The Celtic race — Their migration from 
the east in historic times — Their national character and miUtary habits — Transi- 
tory effects of their enterprises — Their early settlements in Italy — Cisalpine 
Gaiil — Common story of the invasion — Siege of Clusium — Interference of the 
Romans — Battle of the AlUa — Preparations at Rome — Self-devotion of the 
Fathers — Capture and sack of the city — The Capitol saved by M. ilanlius — 
Ransom of Rome — Retreat of the Gauls — Legend of Camillas — Subsequent en- 
counters with the Gauls — Results of the invasion — Distress at Rome — Wars 
with the Etruscans — Settlement of Cisalpine Gaul — ^Disruption of the Latin al- 
liance — Wars with the LatLus and Volscians — Internal dissensions — Condemna- 
tion of Manlius — The Licinian rogations — Plebeians admitted to the consulship 
— Institution of the Praetorship and Curule ^dilesbip — Union of the orders — 
Death of CamUlus — Results of the revolution, to the final settlement of the pop- 
ular constitution — Renewed wars with the Italians — New league with the Latins 
and Hemicans — Great Samnite and Latin Wars — Origin and growth of the Sam- 
nites — First Samnite War — Mutiny at Capua — Great Latin War — Battle near 
Vesuvius, and self-devotion of P. Decius — Battle of Trifantmi — ^Dissolution of 
the Latin confederacy — Roman colonies in Latium — Second or Great Samnite 
War — Papirius and Fabius — Romans defeated at the Caudine forks — Successes 
of the Romans — Defeat of Etruscans and Samnites — Roman conquests — CoaU- 
tion of Etruscans and ItaUans against Rome — Third Samnite war — Victory of 
Sentinum — Truce with Etruscan cities — ^Defeat of the younger and victory of the 
elder Fabius — End of the Samnite wars ...... 259 — 302 


The Wak with Pybrhus, axd the Conquest of Italy. — b.c. 290 to b.c. 266. 

State of Italy after the Samnite wars — The Etruscans and Gauls in the North — The 
Lucanians and Bruttians in the South — Lucania and the Greek cities — The Ro- 
mans protect Thurii — New Italian CoaUtion — War in Etruria — Irruption of the 
Gauls — A Roman army destroyed before Arretium — Defeat and extinction of the 
Senones — ^Defeat of the Etruscans at the Vadunonian Lake — Successes of Fa- 
bricius in Lucania — Tarentum — Its influence in Italy — Calls in aid from Greece 
— Archidamus — Alexander of Epirus — Cleonymus — AUiance with Rome — The 
Tarentines attack a Roman fleet and seize Thurii — Outrage on the Roman am- 
bassador Postumius — Pyrrhus invited to Italy — He becomes master of Tarentum 
— March of the Romans to meet him — Theit defeat at Heraclea — Mission of 
Cineas to Rome — Appius Claudius Caecus in the Senate — Impression made on 
Cmeas — Advance of Pyrrhus to PKeneste — The Etruscans make a separate 
Peace — Pyrrhus retreats to Tarentum — Embassy of Fabricius — Campaign in 
Apulia — Battle of Asculum — ^State of the SiciUan Greeks — League of Rome and 
Carthage — ^Siege of Syracuse — ^Pyrrhus passes into Sicily — His first successes 
and repulse at Lilybaaum — His return to Italy — His defeat at Beneventum and 
final departure — Capture of Tarentum, Rhegium, and Brundisium — Submission 
of Picenum — Lucania, and the Bruttii — Conquest of Italy completed — ^Xaval af- 
fairs — PoUtical and Social state of Italy and Rome . . . 303 — 336 




From the Beginning of the Pc^^c "Wars to the Acquisition of the Prov- 
ince OF Asia. — b.c. 265 to b.c. 130. 

The First Fttsic War. — b.c. 264 to b.c. 241. 


Sicily the battle-field of Rome and Carthage — Its connection with Italy, Greece, and 
Carthage — Seizure of Messana by the Mamertines — They are besieged by Hiero 
— Aid voted to them by the Romans — Beginning of the First Punic War — Suc- 
cesses of the Romans — They are joined by Hiero — Their victory at Agrigentum 
— History of the Phoenicians — Their proper name Canaanites — Their language 
Semitic — Tradition of their migration from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean — 
The cities of Phoenicia — History of Tyre and Sidon — Their commerce and navi- 
gation — Colonies of the Phoenicians — Carthage — Legends of its foundation — Its 
dominion in Africa — Its maritime and colonial empire in Spain, Sardinia, and 
Sicily — Rivalry with the Greeks and alliance with the Tyrrhenians — The Cartha- 
ginian constitution and reUgion — Relations with Rome to the time of the Punic 
Wars — History of the First Punic War resumed — Attacks on the coasts of Italy 
— The Roman fleet — Naval victory of DuiUus — Campaigns in Sardinia, Corsica, 
and Sicily — Naval victory of Regtilus — His successes in Africa — His defeat and 
imprisonment — The war resumed in Sicily — Victory of Panormus and siege of 
Lilybaeum — Regulus at Rome — Wreck of the Roman fleet — Exploits of Hamil- 
car Barca in Sicily — Roman victory off the Jilgatian Islands — Conclusion of the 
War — Sicily a Roman province — ^Revolt and Reconquest of the FaUsci — Popula- 
tion of Rome 337 — 415 

Interval in the Struggle vtith Carthage. — b.c. 240 to b.c. 219. 

War of Carthage with her mercenaries — The Romans seize Sardinia — Devotion of 
Hannibal to avenge his country — Affairs of Rome in Italy — Wars with the Boii 
and Ligurians — The temple of Janus shut — Agrarian law of Flaminius — Dlyrian 
wars — Impression made in Macedonia and Greece — Celtic wars — The Gauls 
pass the Alps — Battle of Telamon — Conquest of the Boii and Insubres — Roman 
Italy extended to the Alps — Colonies and roads — Affairs of Carthage — The 
house of Barca and the party of Hanno — Hamilcar in Spain — Kingdom of the 
Barcides — Hasdrubal's treaty with Rome — Hannibal — His rupture with Rome — 
Capture of Saguntum — Fruitless embassies — Rome declares war against Car- 
thage — Preparations of Hannibal 416 — 428 

The Second Punic War. — b.c. 218 to b.c. 201. 

Character of the Second Punic War — Its three periods and three scenes, Italy, Spain, 
and Africa — JPirst Period: March of Hannibal through Spain and Gaul — Move- 
ments of the consul Scipio — Hannibal's passage of the Alps — Battles of the 
Ticinus and the Trebia— Cneius Scipio in Spain — Hannibal in Etruria — Battle 
of the Trasimene lake — Fabius Maximus made Dictator, " qui cunctando resti- 
tuit rem " — Hannibal in Apuha — Third Campaign : Battle of Cannge — Roman 
fortitude — Revolt of Capua — Carthaginian winter-quarters — Second Period: 
Hannibal's first defeat, at Nola — His repulse from and Capture of Tarentum — 
Roman successes in Sardinia and Spain — Sicilian war — Death of Hiero — Revo- 
lution and revolt of Syracuse — Its siege and capture — Death of Archimedes — 
Death of the two Scipios in Spain — Hannibal's march to Rome — His retreat — 



KecoTery of Capua and Tarentam — Defeat and death of Marcellu? — Hasdnibal 
mardiesto aid Hannibal — His defeat and death at the Metaunis — Tfiird Period : 
P. Cornelius Scipio — His conquest of Spain — His journey toAfHca — His election 
to the coDsnlship — Invasion of Africa — Defeat of the Carthaginians — League 
with Maanissa — Hannibal's recall from Italy — Battle of Zama — Conclusion of 
the war " 429—479 


The Macedonxls a>"I) Asiatic Wars. — ^b.c. 220 to b.c. 1S7. 

Accession of Philip V. — State of Macedonia and Greece — Philip's part in the Social 
War — His alliance with Carthage — Rrst Macedonian War — Anti-Macedonian 
League — Attains and the Rhodians — Affairs of Egypt — Peace with Philip — Re- 
newed Macedonian intrigues — AUianoe of Philip and Antiochus the Great — 
Tiews of Rome regarding the East — Embassy to Egypt, Antiochus, and Philip 
— The Second Macedonian war — Titos Quinctius Flamininus — Philip loses 
Xorthem Greece — The Achaean League joins the Romans — Proposals for peace 
— ^Battle of Cynosc-ephalse — ^Peace with Phihp — The freedom of Greece proclaim- 
ed by Ilamimnn; — His triumph — Discontent of the JItolians — Their intrigues 
with Antiochus — Reriew of the Syrian kingdom — Wars with Egypt for Coele- 
Syria and Palestine — Invasion of and wars with the Parthians — Affairs of Asia 
Minor — ^Accession of Antiochus the Great — His warlike vigour — Revolt of Me- 
dia and Persia suppressed — His war with Egypt and defeat at Raphia — Wars 
in Asia Minor and with the Panhians — Death of Ptolemy Philopator — Alliance 
of Antiochus and Philip— Conquest of Cilicia, Coele-Syria, and Palestine — At- 
tack on Attains, the Rhodians, and the Greek cities of Asia Minor — Successes 
of Antiochus on the Hellespont — He crosses over into Europe and oc-cupies 
Tlirace — ^Protests <jf the Romans — ^Flight of Hannibal to Antiochus — He pre- 
pares for war — The Jtolians seize Demetrias and declare war with Rome — An- 
tiochos lands in Greece — Beginning of the Asiatic War — Attitude of Macedo- 
nia and the Greeks — Defeat of Antiochus at Thermopyla — Greece again subject 
to Rome — Reduction of the ^tolians — Maritime campaign — Roman expedition 
to Asia — Battle of Magnesia — ^FaU of the Syrian empire — War with the Galatians 
— ^The kingdtHn of Pergamus — S^dement of Asia and Greece — The ^tolians 
again gabdned — ^Philip and the Arhaaang — ^Death of Antiochus . . 480 — 501 

CHAPTEE xxym. 

The SuBjtTGATios or Geeece. — b.c. 187 to b.c. 146. 

Discontent of Philip— His renewed prqMurations for war — ^His sons Demetrius and 
Peis«is — ^Munio' of Demetrias — ^Death of Philip — His character — Accession of 
Parens — His prq»ratkni8 against Rome — Barijarian alliances — State of Hel- 
lenic feeling — ^Third Maced(Miian war — Indecisive campaisiis — The Roman gen- 
erals incompetent : their armies disorganized — Q. Marcius Philippus — Invasion 
rtf Maced<Hiia — ^The armies at Tempe — Lucius ^Emilius Paulus elected consul — 
His diaractCT — Decisive Battle of Pydna — Final destruction of the Macedonian 
phalanx — Capture and fate of Perseus — Settlement of Macedonia — New rela- 
tions of Rome to the Hellenic states — Pergamus and the Rhodians — Affairs of 
Syria, and I^ypt — ^Antiochus Epiphanes and the Roman envoy — How to circum- 
scribe a drde aboat a Ung — Roman alliance with the Maccabees — Policy of 
lUmie towards foreign states — Settlement of Greece — ^Patriot and Roman parties 
— ^Execotians and deputations — The Achaean league — Lycortas and CalHcrates 
— Deportation of 1000 Adixans — The historian Polybius— Devastation of Epi- 
lus — ^Trimnph and death rf ,£milius — The Adelphi of Terence — Quarrel of 
Adiens and Oropos — ^Embassy of the philosophers to Rome — Oropus, Sparta, 
and die Achaean League — ^Return of the Achaean exiles — Andriscus, the Mace- 
donian pretender — ^BcHnan commissioners in Greece — Riots at Corinth — War 
with the A chaw t ns — Sack of Coiinth by Mommius — Greece becomes the Roman 
proriDeerfAdiaia 502 — 518 



The Thied Txrsic War. — b.c. 150 to b.c. 146. 


State of Carthage between the First and Second Punic War? — Her prosperirv- and re- 
sources — Her loyalty to Rome — Encroachments of Maiiniisa — Rornin comni-- 
sioners in Africa — M. Porciaa Cato and P. Scipio Nasica — Delenia 'nz C'ariazo 
— Hostilities with Masinissa — Scipio in Masinissa's camp — His iream — E~iciS- 
sies to Rome — Declaration of war — The consols land in Africa — '-'jQieTence at 
Utica — The Carthaginians give up thdr arms — The final Benteoee — Bage and 
resistance of the city — Preparations for defence — ^The SaJt raanf^i^ — Openk- 
tions of Censorinns — Services of Scipio— llie second paanjpaam — Hopes fior G»r- 
thage — Sew allies — Her internal dissoiskHis — The tiro Haadmbals — Scqao 
elected consul — He Iannis in A£nca — ^ProgresB of tibe Si^e — (^rtme of Ae otf 
— The seven days' fight — DestmcticHi ct GardiagB — Tha tens and trinmpli of 
Scipio — Later history of Carthage 519 — 634 


CosQt:ESTS OF Rome rs the West, axd cosninos op the Eepcblic. Fbok 


The Roman dominions in the West — War in Cisa^Hoe Gaol — Gonqiiest of tibe la- 
snbres and Boii — Ligurian wars — Condition of Spain — Oomeolddp of Ckto — Gar~ 
emment of Tiberias Gracchus — His triumph over Sar£iua — Kist Gdltibeiian 
war — Nomanda — MarceUus and LucuHus in Spain — Cmdties of Galba — Loata- 
nian war — Yiriathus — Q. Fabius Maximas .^miliaiHis and (^ AbinB M «>im i »H i 
ServUianus — Murder of Yiriathus — yumantine war — ManeinnB — B niiuB eubdnes 
Lusitania and the GaUsci — Scipio Africanos in Sfaia — Segs and deBtroetkm of 
Numantia — Triumph of Scipio — Servile war in ^dSj — Boman sbaeef — Iaws 
and ovation of RupUius — Attalus HL bequeaths Pcfgamns to the Bomaos — 
The war with Aristonicus — Crassn.? in Asia — Formatknof die Frorinceof Aaa 
— Extent of the Roman empire — Condition of the Bepobfie — The new nofaifitf 
and the city rabble — The nobles in possession of the Senate and the dnef eini 
and military o£ces — The government of the (fgaidij — Saeees^dfise^poficy 
— Internal affairs — Financial administration — Inerease of comiplkD — Pnbfie 
works — The aqueducts of Rome — Party of qpfKisitkm and refbnn — M. Porcins 
Cato — His early life — Service in the Second Fame War — Qaaestor in StSfy — 
Opposition to Scipio — Cato at The nnopjh B — The ptoaeentionof LkSi^paoA^di- 
cus — Violence of Afrieanus — Prosecution and tnmnph of Scqao Afiieanos — ffis 
retirement and death — Scipio and WdEi^tan — Coisoiship of Cato-^is Tsst in- 
fluence and its small results — The Yoin^er Afiicainis — Votebj ballot at Borne — 
Laws against Bribery — Unpopnlaritj and Death of Seipio— B^^on and man- 
ners — Roman Literature . 535 — 568 


AsoENT Cabthage MremS^piete. 

The EifPisE op Aleiasdeb Fsge 83 

AsciEST Italy " 129 

AsciEST Rome " 153 

The Ksowx Woexd at the Focxdatios of Rome . . . " 158 

Zecgitasa "359 

Plax op Casnj: " 440 


THE macedon^ia:^ empire and rise of 


ANTIOCHUS SOTER, B.C. 359 to B.C. 280. 

Vol. II.— 1 






Atyerai tl koivSv ; yevoiTO yap av ti Kaivdrepov fj 'M.aneduv avrjp 'Adrj^aiovQ Karano- 
Jxiiav Kal TO, Tuv 'EilA^wv SioiKuv •, 

" Do you ask, What is the news ? What could be greater news than a Macedonian 
making war upon the Athenians, and regulating the affairs of Greece ? " — Demosthenes. 

" That dishonest victory 
At Chseronea, fatal to liberty, 
Killed with report that old man eloquent." * — Milton. 

accession of philip — his first successes — the macedonian monarchy — education 

and character of philip his relations to athens — capture of amphipolis 

and ptdna the social war — the sacred war — the amphicttons — philip in 

thessalt stopped at thermoptl^ by the athenians — sparta and megalopolis 

— demosth:enes — the first philippic — peace party at Athens — phocion — 







For tlie space of nearly a century and a half, from the Ionic 
revolt to the "battle of Mantinea, the whole interest of the world's 
history has centered in the Greek republics. Having proved the 
power of liberty to raise the intellectual state of man to its high- 
est pitch, they failed to show how the liberty they had achieved 
could be made the basis of a permanent constitution or extended 
to the world at large. Exhausted by their intestine conflicts, they 
were doomed to follow in the train of a master, who, in the name 
of the old cause of Hellenic liberty against Persian despotism, 
founded yet another Asiatic empire, short-lived indeed in itself, 
but which proved the means of extending Greek civilization to 
the East, That master was the ruler of a country adjacent to 
Greece, but hitherto regarded as beyond the Hellenic pale. The 
military genius of its new and youthful sovereign now first brought 
its natural resources into fall action. 

Philip II., sometimes called the Great, ascended the throne of 
Macedonia in b.c. 359. He was the youngest of the three sons 

* The allusion is to the death of Isocrates on hearing of the battle of Chasronea. 
See p. 30. 


of Amyntas EL. His eldest brother, Alexander II., had been 
slain, at the age of twenty-three, after a reign of only two 
years, by Ptolemy Alorites (b.c. 369 — 367). The second brother, 
Perdiccas HI,, who recovered the crown by killing the usurper, 
feU in battle against the Illyrians, after a reign of five years (b.c. 
364 — 359\ having left his infant son, and probably his kingdom, 
to the guardianship of Philip, when he set out on the campaign. 
A minority, always intolerable in a rude state, such as Macedonia 
then was, invited rival claimants for the crown, and gave Philip a 
fair pretext for seizing it himself. Toung as he was, he at once 
displayed that deep policy which was always a chief source of his 
success. Of his two competitors, Pausanias was favoured by the 
king of Thrace, whom Philip gained over by liberal offers : the 
other. Arg£eu3, was supported by the Athenians, to whom he 
promised to restore their ancient, and still much regretted, posses- 
sion of Amphipolis ; — in which Perdiccas had placed a Macedonian 
garrison. Philip made the same offers, and withdrew the garri- 
son : and, having defeated Argaeus, he showed great kindness to 
some Athenian volunteers, who had accompanied the pretender, 
and sent them back to Athens as envoys of conciliation. These 
measures were followed by a peace with Athens, and the formal 
acknowledgment of their right to Amphipolis (b.c. 359). 

Having disposed of these rivals, Philip hastened to meet the 
dangers that threatened Macedonia fi-om the barbarian tribes on 
the north and west. The upper courses of her rivers were occu- 
pied by the Paeonians, a powerfol Thracian tribe, long dangerous 
neighbours, and who were now threatening an invasion. Philip 
speedily subdued them, but allowed them to remain as his subject 
allies, under their own kings, whom we find ruling over them 
down to the time of the Eoman conquest. He next advanced 
against the more formidable lUyrians. As a geographical term, 
lUvria denotes the country between Mount Pindus and the Medi- 
terranean, from the borders of Epirus on the south, as far north 
and west as the river Save and the Julian Alps, corresponding to 
the modem Albania and Bosnia. But, in an ethnic sense, the 
name describes no compact and tmited people, but a number of 
tribes of Thracian race, intermixed with others of Celtic origin, 
in consequence of that great movement fi-om the west, which we 
shall have to notice in connection with the history of Pome. It 
was one result of this movement, that the Illyrian tribes pressed 
more and more upon their neighbours ; and of late a large body 
of them, under their aged king BardyHs, had occupied a consider- 


able portion of "Western Macedonia. Against tliis people PMlip 
marclied at the head of 10,000 men; and, in the battle that 
ensued, he conquered by the tactics which Epaminondas had 
used at Leuctra and Mantinea. About 7,000 of the nivriana fell ; 
and Bardylis purchased peace by the sacrifice of all he had con- 
quered in Macedonia, at the same time placing the passes of 
Pindus in the hands of Philip. These victories made Philip 
master of the whole country within what may be considered the 
natural limits of Macedonia, the Cambunian Moxmtains on the 
south, Pindus and Bemus on the west, Scardas, Orbelu5, and 
Scomius on the north, and the Strymon on the east. The last, 
howeyer, like most rivers, was rather a conventional than a natural 
boundary ; and, beyond it, Thrace awaited the time when Mace- 
donia should be strong enough to subdue her. Secured, mean- 
while, against the dangers that had menaced him from within and 
without, Philip finally set his nephew's claims aside, but brought 
him up at his own court, and afterwards married him to his 

The line of Macedonian kings, of whom Philip thus became 
the representative, claimed an Hellenic descent, though ruling over 
a non-Hellenic people ; and we have already seen that Alexander 
I. was permitted to contend at the Olympic games on the strength 
of the proofs he produced of his descent from Temenus, the Hera- 
clid king of Argus.* The claim thus admitted was a pretext 
ready to be used on any opportunity for interference with the 
politics of Greece ; and the close neighbourhood of Macedonia to 
the Greek settlements on the Chalcidic peninsula caused her aid to 
be sought, as we have seen, by the contending parties in the Pelo- 
ponnesian "War. A better effect of the Hellenic pretensions of her 
kings was the inducement to cultivate Greek civilization. Such 
was the course taken by Archelaiis, who made his new capital at 

* The foDowing is the entire successioQ of the Macedonian kings^ firom the 1 
tion of the monarchj to its conquest by the Romans : — (l.) Ferdweas L ; (2l) 
(3.) Philip L; (4.) Aeropus ; (5.) Alcetaa ; (6.) Amyntaa L, about B.C. 640— SOO; 
(7.) Alexander L, to about b.c. 454 } (8.) Perdiccas IL, to b.c. 413 ; (9.) Ai dhd — g ^ 
to RC. 399; (10.) Orestes and Aeropus, to B.C. 394; (11.) Fansaniia, to KjC. 39S; 
(12.) Amyntas IL, to b.c. 369 ; (13.) Alexander IL, to B.C., 367 ; [Ptdenj AWitff ^ 
usurper, to b.c. 364] ; (14.) Perdiccas ILL, to b.c. 339; (15.) Phujp IL, to nxL 336; 
(16.) ALEXANDER EL, the Great, to b.c. 323; (17) PhiHp EL, Andam, nd 
Alexander lY., ^gus, to b.c. 315 ; (18.) Cassander, to b.c. 296 ; (19.) PhiSp IV., 
to B.C. 295 ; (20.) Demetrius Poliorcetes, to b.c. 287 ; (21.) Pyrrhna to b.c. 286 ; 
(22.) Lysimachus, to b.c. 280 ; [various rivals, ending with Pyrrfans again, to B»a 2771; 
(23.) Antigonus Gonatas, to b.c. 239 ; (24.) Demetriu.'' H, to b.c. 229 ; (23.) AntigOBBS 
Doson, to B.C. 220 ; (26.) Philip V. to B.C. 178 ; (27) Pexseas, to b.c. 167, the date of 
the Roman conquest. 


Pella tlie resort of some of the greatest literary men, — such as 
Em-ipides, who died there, — aud who employed Zeuxis to decorate 
Ms palace. The same monarch organized the resources of his 
kingdom, improved the army, constructed roads, erected fortresses 
to check the inroads of his barbarian neighbours, and seemed ready 
to take a decisive part in the affairs of Greece, when his assassina- 
tion, and the troubles that ensued, postponed the crisis for two 
more generations. Meanwhile, another point of contact between 
Macedonia and Greece was occasioned by those relations between 
Thebes and Thessaly, which we have not considered important 
enough to narrate. In b,c. 368, Pelopidas, having been successful 
in his expedition against Alexander of Pherse, advanced into Mace- 
donia, and decided the contest for the crown between Ptolemy of 
Alorus and Alexander II. in favour of the latter, who gave, among 
other hostages, his youthful brother, Philip. 

Thus it happened that Philip spent the best years of his youth 
at Thebes, at the time when Thebes held the supremacy of Greece. 
His quick parts enabled him to improve the opportunity, which 
his ambition taught him to value. He acquired such mastery 
over the Greek language, and studied to such purpose under the 
masters of rhetoric, as to be able to meet the great orators of that 
age on their own ground. He heard the philosophers who had 
heard Socrates, and he is said to have conversed with Plato. K 
so, he must have had for his fellow-pupil the great Aristotle, 
whom he afterwards invited to his court to be the tutor of Alex- 
ander.* But there were two things that he valued above any 
literary culture — ^the lessons in the art of war which he learnt 
from Epaminondas, and the personal acquaintances which he 
formed with the leading statesmen of Athens, as well as Thebes. 
On the tactics of the great Theban general, Philip founded his 
invention of that irresistible engine of war, the Macedonian 
phalanx ; but he found a surer way to victory in what he learnt 
of the weaknesses of the Athenian orators. We shall soon see how 
he corrupted some and cajoled others, while nearly all were pre- 
pared to trust the goodwill of the illustrious prince who had lived 
so familiarly among them. They forgot that the knowledge 
which a foreign despot may thus acquire of the internal working 
of a free country is sure to be used, in the long run, for his own 

* Aristotle went to Athens in B.C. 367, and heard Plato from the retvim of the 
latter from Sicily, in b.c. 365 to his death in B.C. 347. He went to the court of PhUip 
in B.C. 342, and was received with honours which prove the king's true respect for 


purposes, and, when lie resolves on an attack, he knows the weak 
points at which to aim it. Isor was Phihp burthened by any 
scruples of conscience or good faith. Treacherous himself, his 
only assured confidence seems to have been in the treachery and 
corruption of others. His saying has passed into a proverb, that 
he could take any city, the wicket of which would give passage to 
an ass laden with gold. His Greek education had varnished over, 
without subduing, the coarseness as well as the cunning of the 
barbarian ; and there were almost daily opportunities for the pro- 
verbial appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober. But the hostUe 
orator, who perhaps overdraws the picture of his orgies, admits 
that they never interfered with business. He was as persevering 
as he was prompt, .and his unyieldiag will was served by an iron 
constitution. He was generous to his friends, and seldom wanting 
in clemency to conquered foes. 

There can be no doubt that Philip ascended the throne of 
Macedonia with the direct design of becoming arbiter of the 
destmies of Greece. His territory lay compact and self-contained 
across the base of the peninsula, while it touched the sea at the 
Thermaic gulf, which received its three great rivers — the Haliac- 
mon, the Lydias, and the Axius. Once master of the Chalcidic 
peninsula, and of the Greek colonies on the Strymon, he would 
gain a great accession of maritime power, and soon extend his 
dominion into Thrace. His first step towards this object gave an 
earnest of his cunning and duplicity, and no less of the apathy 
of the free States of Greece. Amphipolis, once so choice an 
Athenian possession, and so disgracefully lost in the Pelopon- 
nesian War, was the key to the Strymon and the Thracian border. 
Philip had bought off the opposition of the Athenians, as we 
have seen, by promising to give them the city, of which they had 
unaccountably neglected to take possession, though a year had 
elapsed since the withdrawal of the Macedonian garrison, and it 
had remained independent while Philip was engaged in the 
lUyrian War. Delivered from his internal enemies, Philip was 
not the man to forego the advantage which the Athenians had 
neglected. Towards the end of b.c. 358, he marched against 
AmphipoKs, at the head of the 10,000 troops with which he had 
gained the victory over theHlyi'ians, and which became the nucleus 
of the first standing army known in Europe. The Amphipolitans 
applied to Athens, offering to surrender their independence rather 
than fall into the hands of Philip ; but the wily prince wrote to 
the Athenians — he was always powerful as a letter-writer — 


assuring them that he was only besieging Amphipolis in order to 
perfonn his promise of restoring it to them. Resentment against 
their refractory colony and blind confidence in Philip's intentions 
combined to lead the Athenians to a most fatal decision. Well 
did they deserve the taunt of Demosthenes, when, at a later period, 
he charged them with being so slow in courage and military prepa- 
rations, that they would not even take Amphipolis if it were offered 
to them. The city soon fell by treason, and the Olynthians, justly 
alarmed for themselves, sent an embassy to Athens to propose an 
alliance. Philip's friends at Athens procured the dismissal of 
these envoys ; but they had not confidence enough in his good 
faith to expect the surrender of Amphipolis without an equivalent, 
80 they entered into a secret negotiation to give him Pydna, on 
the Thermaic Gulf, in exchange. Philip, on his part, won over 
the Olynthians by giving them Potidsea, which belonged to Athens. 
While the siege of that city was formed, Philip marched to Pydna, 
which was treacherously surrendered to him. Several citizens, 
known to be hostile to Macedonia, were put to death ; and the 
Athenian residents were sold as slaves. Philip then refused to 
give up Amphipolis to the Athenians, since they had not placed 
Pydna in his hands. 

These acts of open hostility are explained by the change which 
the Athenians had now suffered from a state of high prosperity. 
They had engaged in a tedious but ultimately successful war for 
the recovery of the Chersonese from the Thracian king Cersobleptes 
and the mercenary captain Charidemus. A more important con- 
quest was that of Euboea, which was wrested from Thebes, chiefly 
by means of the animated appeals of Timotheus to the Athenians, 
and the patriotic zeal of certain citizens who voluntarily assumed 
the burthen of the trierarchy.* Among these was Demosthenes 
(b.c. 358). The city was now at the height of her recovered 
maritime power, when a sudden change once more stripped her 
of her empire, and with it of the means of resisting Philip. The 
fair promises which accompanied the renewal of the confederacy, 
had been disappointed. Relieved by the victories of Epaminondas 
from the check of Spartan rivalry, Athens had again yielded 
to the temptation of administering the common affairs according 
to her own interests. The system of mercenary forces invented 
by Conon, and developed by Iphicrates and Chares, had tempted 
the citizens to decline active service. This evil, which is con- 

* The trierarchy was one of the " htiirgies," or public services, which fell upon the 
citizens of the highest Solonian census. It consisted in fitting out a trireme. 

B.C. 358.] THE SOCIAL WAE. 9 

stantly denotmced by Demosthenes, sapped the militaiy power of 
the state, while the allies were outraged by the exactions of the 
ill-paid mercenaries. Four of the most important of the allies — 
Byzantium, Chios, Cos, and Khodes — revolted from Athens, and 
began the " Social War" (b.c. 358—355). The two latter states 
were supported by the Carian prince Mausolus, whose wife and 
sister Artemisia has conferred on his name a renown as lasting as 
the world by the erection of his magniiicent tomb, called the 
Mausoleum.^ The Athenians made their first attack on Chios, 
where the revolters had united their forces; but Chabrias fell 
while leading his ships into the harbour, and the land force under 
Chares was compelled to re-embark. 

The loss of Chabrias was followed by the retirement of Timo- 
theus and Iphicrates. At the annual account rendered by 
Athenian officers, they were accused by Chares of corruption. 
Timotheus, who had made many enemies by his overbearing 
conduct, was sentenced to a fine of 100 talents, the heaviest, it 
is said, ever inflicted at Athens : he retired to Chalcis, where he 
died in b.c. 35-i. Iphicrates was acquitted, but he was not again 
employed. Thus the city, in the time of her extreme need, lost 
her three best generals ; and the loss was aggravated by the 
undisputed military ascendancy which it left in the hands of 
Chares, a brave, but reckless and selfish leader, chiefly intent on 
satisfying his mercenaries and enriching himself. Phocion, of 
whom we have to speak presently, held as yet no prominent com- 
mand; nor were his the qualities to save the state. But the 
worst evil of all was the habit into which the Athenians had now 
fallen of declining to serve in person, while they did not even pay 
the mercenaries to whom they committed their defence. The 
result was that, in the next campaign. Chares took service with 
his mercenaries under the rebel satrap Artabazus, and the Athe- 

* The old dynasty of Carian princes, founded at Halicamassus by Lygdamis, soon 
after the Persian conquest of Asia Minor, and made famous by the queen Artemisia, 
who fought at Salamis, ended with the overthrow of her grandson Lygdamis, m the 
time of Herodotus. The new dynasty was founded, about b.c. 380, by Hecatomnus, 
who left three sons, Mausolus, Idrieus, Pixodarus, and two daughters, Artemisia and 
Ada, who were married to their two elder brothers. All five reigned in turn till the 
conquest by Alexander, when the kingdom lost all its importance. It was ultimately 
merged in the government of Rhodes. The Mausoleum, which was reckoned one of 
the seven wonders of the world, was a sort of castle-tomb, surmounted by a pyramid, 
and crowned at the summit by a statue of the king in a marble quadriga, the work of 
Pythis. Its other sculptures were executed by Scopas, Bryaxis, Timotheus, and 
Leochares, all Athenian artists of the highest note. Considerable remains of these 
sculptures are now in the British Museum. 


nians forgave liis desertion of Lis proper post for tlie sake of tlie 
ricli reward he earned (b.c. 356). But Artaxerxes did not 
so easily forgive tlie aggression; and his threat, to support 
the revolted allies with the whole Persian fleet, decided the 
issue of the war. In the following spring, Athens consented to a 
peace which secured the independence of her principal allies, and 
reduced her revenue from their tribute to only forty-five talents 
(b.c. 355). The Social War left her weak, impoverished, and 
deprived both of military power and prestige ; and, worse than 
all, its conduct proved how much of her old confidence and energy 
had gone, even before these losses. In such a condition, she had to 
meet the aggressions of Philip, which had now become alarming ; 
and it is only by a clear view of this state of affairs, that we can 
appreciate the moral heroism with which Demosthenes now began 
to fight the last battles of patriotism. 

While the Athenians were occupied in the Social War, Philip 
was strengthening his position on the Thracian border, not only 
by his arms, but by gaining the friendship of Olynthus. Potidaea 
fell about midsummer, e.g. 356, an epoch ever memorable in the 
annals of Macedonia and the world ; for, just at the same time, 
Philip gained a victory in the chariot-race at Olympia ; his general 
Parmenio won a great battle against the Illyrians ; and his wife 
Olympias* gave birth to his son Alexander, of whose future 
renown an omen was given in the conflagration of the temple of 
Artemis at Ephesus by the maniac Herostratus, on the same night. 
Passing the Strymon, Philip obtained possession of the auriferous 
region of Mt. Pangseus, where he founded the famous city of 
Philippi, and derived an immense revenue from an improved 
working of the gold mines. 

Meanwhile the opportunity for his interference in the affairs of 
all Greece was prepared by the suicidal conflicts of the Greeks 
themselves. The occasion arose out of the " Sacred War," which 
began shortly after the Social War. The old enmity between the 
Thebans and the Phocians had been inflamed by the reluctance 
of the latter to join the Theban alliance, and some actual hostili- 
ties had taken place after the general peace of b.c. 361. The 

* Olympias was a daughter of Neoptolemus, prince of the Molossi, in Epirus, who 
claimed J3aeid descent. She is conspicuous among the queens who have been 
notorious in history for violence of temper and vindictive cnielty, and she was 
addicted to the enthusiastic orgies of the Dionysiac worship. Philip first met her at 
the mysteries celebrated m the island of Samothrace, and married her in b.c. 359, the 
year of his accession. 

B.C. 357.] THE SACKED WAE. 11 

Amphictyonic Council, of wliicli we have ali'eadj spoken,* had 
lately been called forth from its dignified obscurity, to exercise a 
political influence, and the time had now come, when this great 
Panhellenic union was destined to give the final blow to Grecian 
liberty. It must be remembered that the council, constituted of 
the representatives of the twelve ancient divisions of the Hellenic 
nation, at a time when that nation had its seat in the north, alto- 
gether failed to represent the actual states of historic Greece. 
Each of the twelve nations, great or small, had alike two votes, 
and such cities as Sparta and Athens possessed only the fraction 
of a vote due to them as subdivisions of the Dorian and Ionian 
nations. A clear majority was commanded by the states of 
Thessaly and Central Greece, which were now greatly influenced 
by Thebes, and about to become the mere creatures of Philip. 
These states, moreover, had many a ground of quarrel with the 

The Thebans had invoked the sentence of the Amphictyons 
against Sparta, with little efiect, for her seizure of the Cadmean 
citadel, but against Phocis they had power to carry a sentence into 
execution. They are said to have found a pretext in the curse 
pronounced of old on any who should cultivate the devoted plain 
of Cirrha, but other grounds of accusation are alleged. The 
imposition of a fine, which it was known the Phocians could not 
pay, was followed up by a decree that the whole nation should 
be expelled from theii' possessions, and their territory devoted for 
ever, like that of Cirrha, to ApoUo. Shut up,^to the choice 
between extermination and resistance, the Phocians found an able 
and unscrupulous leader in Philomelus. By his advice they 
revived their old claim to be themselves the guardians of the 
Delphic temple, citing the verse in which Homer mentions the 
Phocians as holding the "rocky Pytho,'' the ancient name of 
Delphi.f Philomelus, with a force 2,000 men, surprised the 
temple, destroyed the records of the sentence against the Phocians, 
raised a fresh body of mercenaries, fortified the temple, and 
carried on a successful war with the Locrians, who attempted to 
rescue Delphi. Having extorted from the reluctant priestess a 
sort of half sanction to his proceedings, and having issued a 
manifesto promising to respect the treasures of the shrine, Philo- 

* Yol. I. chap. xiL p. 328. The last act of the Amphictyons, important enough 
to be recorded in Greek history, was the execration of Ephialtes for his treason at 
Thermopylae. They are not once mentioned by Thucydides, or in Xenophon's KeV 
lenics. f Iliad, II. 519. 


melus appealed to the states of Greece. Athens, the old ally of 
Phocis, and Sparta, the bitter enemy of Thebes, almost alone of 
the leading states espoused his cause ; but the former was in the 
crisis of social war, and the latter had enough to do to hold her 
ground against her new rivals. Megalopolis and Messene. In fact, 
the position in which Sparta had been left by the Theban War 
disabled her from any effective aid to the common cause in the 
approaching crisis. It was easy for Thebes to organize a con- 
federacy of the northern states against the Phocians ; and the 
danger became so pressing that Philomelus, disregarding his 
scruples and his pledges, applied the sacred treasures to the pay- 
ment of mercenaries, and soon gathered a force of 10,000 men. 
The war now assumed the most savage character ; the Thebans, 
Thessalians, and Locrians put to death all Phocian prisoners as 
sacrilegious outlaws, and the Phocians retaliated. Success de- 
clared at first for Philomelus ; but, having become entangled 
amongst some rocks and woods, he was surrounded by the superior 
numbers of the enemy, and he only avoided being taken prisoner 
by a fatal leap over a precipice (b.c. 354). His brother Onomarchus 
rallied the defeated army, roused the spirit of the Phocians, 
who with their bad fortune had begun to repent of their sacrilege, 
and overawing the malcontents by his mercenaries, he was made 
their despot as well as general. He used the temple treasures 
more freely than ever, not only to pay his troops, but to bribe the 
leading men both of friendly and hostile states. He became 
master of the country as far as Thermopylae, on the one side ; 
while, on the other, he invaded Boeotia, took Orchomenus, and laid 
siege to Chaeronea, but was repulsed by the whole force of the 
Thebans (b.c. 353). 

The time had now come for the intervention of the Macedonian. 
Philip had pushed on his advance into Thrace as far as Abdera, 
with a view to support Cersobleptes against the Athenians in the 
Chersonese ; but his progress had been checked by another Thi-a- 
cian chieftain, Amadocus, as well as by the presence of Chares on 
the coast, with an Athenian fleet. With his usual activity he 
marched back to the Gulf of Therma, and laid siege to Methone 
(b.c. 353). This last remaining possession of the Athenians on 
the Macedonian coast fell, like Pydna and Potidsea, through their 
delay in sending the succours that they voted (b.c. 352).* Philip 
had now recovered the sea-coast of Lower Macedonia, and the way 
lay open into Thessaly, where his aid was solicited by the Aleuads 

* It was at the siege of Methone that Philip lost an eye. 


of Larissa against Lycopliron, the despot of Pherae. Lycopkron 
looked for help to Onomarchus, who was glad to find occupation 
for his numerous mercenaries. A force of 7,000 men, sent into 
Thessaly under his brother Phayllus, was defeated by Philip, but 
this disaster was fully repaired by Onomarchus himself, who drove 
Philip out of Thessaly, beaten in two great battles. Onomarchus 
now led his victorious army into Boeotia and took Chaeronea ; and 
seemed to be rapidly attaining the position of master of Northern 

Philip had retired into Macedonia, with his army dispirited and 
mutinous ; but his energy soon enabled him to take the field again. 
Lycophron once more turned for aid to Onomarchus, promising to 
give him all Thessaly as a dependency of Phocis. With such a 
prize in view, Onomarchus put forth all his force, and entered 
Thessaly with an army of 20,000 foot and 500 horse. But Lyco- 
phron's cruel abuse of the former victory had united nearly all 
Thessaly against him, and Philip soon found himself at the head of 
an infantry as powerful as the enemy's besides 3,000 of the splendid 
Thessalian cavalry. He roused the enthusiasm of his followers 
by assuming the character of an avenger of the Delphic god, and 
crowns of laurel, gathered in the vale of Tempo, marked his 
soldiers as the servants of Apollo. One decisive battle made 
Philip the master of Thessaly and confii'med his loftier preten- 
sions. The army of Onomarchus was annihilated, 6,000 men 
being slain, 3,000 taken prisoners, and the remainder utterly 
dispersed. The body of their leader, who fell in the battle, was 
fixed to a cross ; * and all the prisonei'S were drowned, in punish- 
ment of their sacrilege (b.c. 352). The victory was followed by 
the capitulation of Pherae, and the expulsion of Lycophron ; and 
the capture of Pagasae, which the Athenians again failed to 
relieve in time, gave Philip a naval station on the great gulf 
which opens into the Euba?an Sea. His character as champion of 
the Delphic god formed a sufiicient pretext for advancing to the 
relief of the violated sanctuary and so crushing the Phocians in 
their very citadel. But at last the Athenians were eftectually 
alarmed : the energy of which they were always capable was 
roused : by ready contributions and personal service, they prompt- 
ly despatched a force sufficient to defend Thermopylae ; and Philip, 

* This is, we believe, the first instance of the use of cracifixion in Greece ; and here 
it is only an exposure of the corpse, not yet a mode of inflicting death. The form of 
punishment was essentially Oriental. The Komans borrowed it from the Phoenicians of 


who always knew how to bide liis time, turned back ^vitllout 
attempting the pass (b.c. 352). Phayllus, the successor of Ono- 
marchus, held almost undiminished power in Phocis, Locris, and 
Boeotia ; using the remaining sacred treasures to recruit his mer- 
cenary force, and to distribute presents among his supporters 
throughout the Greek cities. But this final plunder reached those 
venerable offerings of ancient kings, which were cherished with 
keen national pride ; as the sacrilege became less scrupulous, the 
use of its proceeds grew more reckless ; and the general indigna- 
tion was redoubled, when goblets and statues dedicated by Croesus 
were melted down to enrich the favourites cf the despot. Thus, 
at the very moment when Philip was repulsed from Thermopylae, 
the public feeling of Greece was preparing to accept him as a 
deliverer. Meanwhile he was engaged in consolidating his power 
nearer home ; and he advanced so far into Thrace that his move- 
ments were almost unknown, and the Athenians were amused 
with reports, sometimes of his death, sometimes of his illness. 
But there was one man who would not suffer them to forget that 
Philip was still alive ; and tliis pause in the Sacred War calls us 
to observe what was going on in the other parts of Greece. 

The new power that had risen in Phocis was viewed with favour 
both at Athens and Sparta, as a counterpoise to Thebes ; and had 
the two states been capable of a vigorous and united effort, 
Greece might have had another history. But the thoughts of 
Sparta were bent on deliverance from the bonds drawn round her 
by the policy of Epaminondas, and the successes of Onomarchus in 
Bceotia were welcomed as an opportunity for attacking Megalopolis. 
On this point the interests of Sparta and of Athens came into col- 
lision ; and the Athenians had to decide whether they would purchase 
the Lacedtemonian alliance by the reversal of the recent settlement 
for making Peloponnesus free, and Sparta incapable of aggression. 
It was about the winter of b.c. 353 — 352, when Onomarchus was 
at the height of his power, that two embassies arrived at Athens ; 
the one from Megalopolis to ask for alliance and support, the other 
from Sparta to resist the appeal, and to propose a close alliance 
of Athens with herself and her Peloponnesian allies, to complete 
the humiliation of Thebes. This view was supported by the large 
party at Athens who cherished the old traditional hostility towards 
the Thebans ; and the Spartans held out as a bait the recovery of 
Oropus, an Attic town on the Bceotian frontier, which Thebes had 
long held. The decision was mainly influenced by Demosthenes, 
who delivered liis speech " For the Megalopolitans," the second. 


in order of time, of his extant public orations ; the first, " On the 
Symmories," having been made the year before, on the question 
of war with Persia. He succeeded in persuading the Athenians 
that it was their true interest not to strengthen either Sparta or 
Thebes at the expense of the other, but to uphold Megalopolis 
and Messene, not only as a check upon Sparta, but as an obstacle 
to any future attempt on the part of Thebes to interfere again in 
the Peloponnesus. That this was sound policy, both for the inter- 
ests of Athens, and for the independence of the Grecian states, 
there can be no doubt. Its bearing upon the Macedonian danger 
seems hardly to have been considered, for Philip is not mentioned 
in the speech. It was not the vote of the Athenians, but the self- 
ish policy of Sparta, in ofiering her alliance only on such conditions, 
that left her without influence on the common cause of Greece 
(b.c. 353). Her persistence in the attack on Megalopolis provoked 
a league of Thebes, Argos, Sicyon, and Messene, for the defence 
of the city ; and, after several indecisive battles, Sparta was com- 
pelled to make peace (b.c. 352). 

It would seem, however, that Demosthenes had as yet formed 
no adequate conception of Philip's power. The events of the fol- 
lowing campaign in Thessaly, which, as we have seen, roused the 
Athenians to the great effort by which they stayed Philip's pro- 
gress at Thermopylse, convinced the orator that the safety of 
Greece was now at stake ; and that Athens, standing in the 
forefront of the danger, must not be satisfied to wait till it was 
upon them, and then to make efforts as inefiicient as they were 
sudden ; but that now, while Philip's absence in Thrace allowed 
them the opportunity, they must calmly but resolutely make the 
needful preparations. It was this lesson that he came forward to 
impress upon the people in the first of those great orations which, 
named after the king of Macedonia, have caused the title of 
PliilijppiGS to be applied, in general, to speeches in which a person 
is denounced, though in the vast majority of cases the resemblance 
is only in the name. The delivery of the first Philippic forms the 
crisis of the orator's public life. 

Demosthenes was now about thirty years of age, the probable 
date of his birth being b.c. 382 — 381, one year after the birth of 
Philip. His father, who bore the same name, was po^essed of 
great wealth, and carried on manufactures of swords and beds by 
means of his slaves. He died when the young Demosthenes was 
about seven, leaving his two sons and their property to the care of 
three guardians, men of wealth and station, and relations of his 


own. Thougli they received handsome legacies under his will, 
these guardians abused their trust ; and when Demosthenes 
reached sixteen, the Athenian age of majority, he received less 
than two talents out of the fourteen which his father had left. 
Meanwhile they had kept him, in his father's j)lace, on the roll of 
the wealthiest class of citizens, and he found himself subject to all 
the burthens of that position. His remonstrances having proved 
in vain, he commenced an action against Aphobus, one of his 
three guardians ; and in the exertions which he made to fit him- 
self to plead his cause, his biographers find the source of his great- 
ness as an orator. Other causes contributed to his adoption of 
public speaking as a profession. A body too weak to bear the 
hard training of the gymnasium or the toils of war, was to him, 
as to many other distinguished men, a motive for devotion to in- 
tellectual pursuits. 

This want of physical hardihood, and of the contempt of danger 
which often attends it — a quality distinct from the moral courage 
in which Demosthenes was rarely deficient — followed him through 
life, always as a hindrance, and sometimes even a disgrace. " It 
disqualified him from appropriating to himself the full range of a 
comprehensive Grecian education, as conceived by Plato, Isocrates, 
and Aristotle ; an education applying alike to thought, word, and 
action — combining bodily strength, endurance, and fearlessness, 
with an enlarged mental capacity and a power of making it felt 
by speech." * What he might have been, but for this defect, is 
recorded in the lines which his countrjTuen inscribed upon his 
statue : — 

" Had thy strength match'd thy soul, Demosthenes, 
The Macedonian Ares ne'er had ruled in Greece." 

The time had however come when the statesman, who would hold 
ascendancy over his fellow-citizens, need no longer combine, like 
Themistocles and Pericles, j^icias and Alcibiades, the powers of 
the orator and the general. On the one hand, the wider diffusion 
of the art of public speaking, under the teaching of the Sophists 
and rhetoricians, and, on the other, improved tactics and the 
employment of mercenaries, who would only serve certain leaders, 
had tended to separate the functions of the general and the coun- 
cillor, and to make each a distinct profession. But neither did 
Demosthenes narrow his studies to those of the professional rheto- 
rician. "While he placed himself under the special tuition of the 
orator Isseus, and attended the lectures of Isocrates, he heard 

* Grote, EiaUyry of Greece, vol. xi., p. 3Y4. 


Plato, and perused his dialogues with the greatest diligence. But 
his chief intellectual culture, as his speeches constantly attest, was 
derived from the history of Thucydides. He well knew the truth 
of the maxim, which a great soldier of our age has prescribed even 
for the military profession : — " By reading you will be distin- 
guished ; without it, abilities are of little use." He is said to 
have copied out the entire work of Thucydides eight times with 
his own hand, and to have re-written it from memory. The 
attentive reader of his political harangues perpetually hears the 
echoes of the historian's wisdom in the more harmonious but not 
less nervous periods of the orator. 

The best Athenian critics recognized in his earhest efforts the 
political principles and the very tone of thought which Thucydides 
has taken such pains to delineate as those of Pericles. But at 
first his manner fell far short of his matter; and when some 
success in his action against Aphobus encouraged him to come 
forward in the Ecclesia, his repeated failures were marked by 
general derision. But there were those who were wilhng to foster 
the germs of promise which they had the discernment to detect. 
Eunomus, an aged citizen, who had heard Pericles sixty years 
before, comforted Demosthenes, as he wandered disconsolate about 
Pirgeus, by telling him how his speech reminded him of the great 
statesman, and assuring him that he only wanted confidence and 
preparation. " You are too much disheartened," said he, " by 
the tumult of a popular assembly, and you do not take the pains 
even to acquire the bodily strength needed for the rostrum." He 
found another counsellor in the actor Satyrus, who desired him to 
recite a passage of Sophocles, which the actor then repeated, with 
a difference of accent that astonished Demosthenes. While he 
thus learned the source of his defects from advisers, he relied for 
their cure on self-disclipine alone ; and never did any man pursue 
a more resolute course of self-culture. To correct a defect of arti- 
culation, which approached to a lisp, he practised speaking with 
pebbles in his mouth. He found a substitute for the hoarse 
murmurs of the people in the noise of the waves upon the beach 
of Phalerum during a storm. The power of his lungs was ex- 
panded by running, and by declaiming while walkiDg up-hill. 
For months together he shut himself up in a subterranean 
chamber to practise recitation and composition, and took pre- 
cautions against interruption from any want of resolution on his 
own part by shaving his liead in so absurd a guise that he could 
not stir abroad. 

VOL. II. — 2 


The fniit of all this training was soon visible in the style of 
oratory so perfect, that the severest critics could only find fault 
with it for being too artificial in manner, and too elaborately pre- 
pared in the matter. But the greatest oratoi-s in every age, down 
to the venerable master of the art, who in our own time has been 
thought worthy to rank with Demosthenes and Cicero, are all 
agreed that, whatever power may have been occasionally exerted 
by sudden bursts of unpremeditated eloquence, the most laborious 
preparation is needed for sure and habitual success. Thus, while 
no orator has ever sui-passed Demosthenes in that vigour which some 
associate only with extemporaneous speaking, it was the judg- 
ment of some of his contemporaries, that the rich matter of his 
speeches could only be fully enjoyed on reading. This judgment 
is the more remarkable, as we know that he himself laid the 
greatest stress on the accessories of oral delivery, especially on 
" action," which he declared to be the first and second and third 
essential for an orator. Xor was his labour bestowed, as that of 
Cicero too often was, chiefly in rounding periods and elaborating 
ornaments. He has left us, indeed, the most perfect examples of 
prose rhythm ever embodied in the most eftective of human lan- 
guages ; but what above all distinguishes him trom the most 
accomplished of mere rhetoricians, is the direct practical pui'pose 
of every word he uttei-s. So long as there was any hope, he never 
ceased to encourage the Athenians by the consideration that the 
advantages which had been lost solely by their negligence might 
yet be recovered by renewed energy and careful preparation, and 
to show them how such preparation should be made in all its 
details. — the number of ships and men required, the amount of 
money needed to support them, and the sources fi-om which it 
might be provided. 

Such was the burthen of the First Philippic, which was 
delivered while Philip was making progress in Thrace, threatening 
the possessions of Athens on the Chersonese, and annoying her 
nearer home by maritime expeditions. His command of the 
Pagasfean Bay enabled him to send out fleets to ravage the islands 
of Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros, and even to make a descent at 
Marathon and plunder the coast of Attica. In November, b.c. 
352, the news was brought to Athens, that Philip had emerged 
from his obscure operations in the interior of Thrace, and had 
laid siege to HerEeon-Teichos on the Propontis. In sudden alarm 
the Athenians voted an armament, to be manned by the citizens, 
and imposed on themselves a property-tax of sixty talents. Then 


came a report of Philip's illness, which was true, and which the 
wishes of the popular indolence magnified into his death ; and all 
the preparations were suspended. It was during this pause that 
Demosthenes came forward to insist on the folly alike of de- 
spondency and carelessness, and the equal folly of trusting to 
desultory efibrts and ill-paid mercenaries. Philip's military 
power and reputation had now reached such a height, that Demos- 
thenes confessed the hopelessness of meeting him in the field, but 
he urges the policy of setting on foot, before the danger became 
more pressing, a moderate force which might keep him in con- 
stant alarm by descents on his coasts, and by carrying help to 
every point at which disaffection or resistance might break out, as 
they were sure to do under a tyrannical government. He shows 
how such a force might be provided, if the people would revert to 
the old plan of personal service and well-ordered contribution, 
instead of trusting to that chance, which seemed in fact to do 
better for them than they did for themselves. All this practical 
advice is pointed by keen reproofs : — " What does it matter 
whether Philip is dead or sick, since, should anything befall him, 
you would soon make yourselves another Philip, if you apply 
yourselves to business thus ? " Yet there was encouragement to be 
derived from their very remissness, as it left room for them to do 

The First Philippic was delivered in the spring of b.c. 851, but 
with so little effect that even the armament already voted was not 
despatched to the Chersonese till the following autumn, and then . 
on a wretchedly inadequate scale. The reason for this was not 
merelythegeneralsupinenessof the Athenians, and the decay of the 
ancient spirit of self-sacrifice, but there was at Athens a peace 
party which systematically thwarted the views of Demosthenes. 
Its chief leaders were the orator Eubulus and the general Phociojst, 
the last of that race of statesmen who led the people both in the 
field and in the assembly. His unsullied character — the more 
conspicuous from the venality of other leaders of his party — ^has 
too often blinded historians to the evils of his policy ; and, like 
Nicias in both points, his fate has gained for him a sympathy 
which tends to cloud the judgment. No praise, indeed, can be too 
high for the personal character of " Phocion the Good." Born 
about B.C. 402, just twenty years before Demosthenes, he had 
reached his 85th year when he was put to death on a charge of 
treason, arising: out of the troubles that followed the death of 
Alexander (b.c. 31 Y). ' His humble birth was ennobled by the 


simplicity of his life ; and his hardy constitution was preserved 
unimpaired by luxury. Above all, the contrast of his incorrup- 
tible probity with the insatiable avarice of other generals and the 
venality of the orators — among whom even Demosthenes did not 
escape undeserved suspicion — had such an effect on the sentiment 
of the Athenians that they gave him a confidence more unreserved 
than they had ever yielded to Pericles himself. From his first 
entrance on public life, when he was already of middle age, he 
held the annual ofiice of chief Startegus (General)* almost without 
interruption. He was elected no less than forty-five times, with- 
out once soliciting the people's choice. His chief mihtary friend 
and pattern was Chabrias, under whom he distinguished himself 
at the battle of N^axos (b.c. 376) ; f but he is not named as holding 
an important command till b.c. 354 (or b.c. 349), when he led 
an expedition into Eubcea. His philosophic indifference to the 
present fame and emoluments of active ser\ace led him to find his 
chief field at Athens, in administrative details, and in the poHtics 
of the ecclesia ; and his almost constant presence in the city placed 
a constant check upon the policy of Demosthenes. Phocion's 
trainins: in the school of Plato and Xenocrates made him Intel- 
lectually a fit antagonist for the ablest of the orators, and he was 
the more able to cope with them because he despised all the 
artifices of popular rhetoric, and extinguished their elaborate 
periods by a pointed brevity almost laconic. To a friend who 
found him deep in thought when he had to speak, he said, " I am 
meditating whether I cannot shorten what I have to say to the 
Athenians ;" and, when Demosthenes saw Phocion rise to reply 
to him, he used to say — " Here comes the cleaver of my speeches." 
This plain soldier-like style of speaking carried with it a sort of 
military force ; and it was the testimony of an orator, who was 
himself a friend of Demosthenes, that Phocion was the more 
effective speaker. I^or was his influence diminished by that con- 
temptuous sternness and rigour of life which were accepted as 
signs of his independence. It is said that he was never seen 
weeping or laughing, or bathing in the public baths. Once, when 
a speech of his was followed by applause, he turned to a friend and 
asked, " Have I unawares said something bad ? " He made a 
boast of his opposition to the popular feeling ; and he gained that 
credit for sincerity which is generally yielded to such a temper, and 
which the spectacle of a general averse to war naturally excited. 

* We have already explained the nature of this function, which was a sort of 
premiership. . f See vol. I., p. 556. 


It has been often pleaded that Phocion consulted the tme 
interests of Athens and of Greece by opposing the policy of resist- 
ance to Macedonia, when effective resistance was hopeless. But 
here, as Mr. Grote has shown most conclusively, it is necessary to 
draw a distinction between the earlier and later years of Phocion's 
career. " His biographers mislead our judgment by pointing 
our attention chiefly to the last twenty years of his long life, after 
the battle of Chseronea. At that time, when the victorious mili- 
tary force of Macedonia had been fully organized, and that of 
Greece comparatively prostrated, it might be argued plausibly 
(I do not say decisively, even then) that submission to Macedonia 
had become a fatal necessity ; and that attempts to resist could 
only end by converting bad into worse. But the peace-policy of 
Phocion — which might be called prudence, after the accession of 
Alexander — was ruinously imprudent, as well as dishonourable, 
during the reign of Philip. The odds were all against Philip in 
his early years ; they shifted, and became more and more in his 
favour, only because his game was played well, and that of his 
opponents badly. The superiority of force was at first so much on 
the side of Athens, that, if she had been willing to employ it, she 
mio-ht have made sure of keeping Philip at least within the limits 
of Macedonia. All depended upon her will ; upon the question 
whether her citizens were prepared in their own minds to incur the 
expense and fatigue of a vigorous foreign policy — whether they 
would handle their pikes, open their purses, and forego the com- 
forts of home, for the maintenance of Grecian and Athenian liberty 
against a growing, but not as yet irresistible destroyer. To such a 
sacrifice the Athenians could not bring themselves to submit ; and, 
in consequence of that reluctance, they were driven in the end to 
a much graver and more irreparable sacrifice — the loss of liberty, 
dignity, and security. I^ow it was precisely at such a moment, 
and when such a question was pending, that the influence of the 
peace-loving Phocion was most ruinous. His anxiety that the 
citizens should be buried at home in their own sepulchres — his 
despair, mingled with contempt, of his countrymen, and their 
refined habits — ^his hatred of the orators who might profit by an 
increased war-expenditure — all contributed to make him discourage 
public effort, and await passively the preponderance of the Mace- 
donian anns ; thus playing the game of Philip, and siding, though 
himself incorruptible, with the orators in Philip's pay." * 

Such were the antagonistic forces by which the fate of Greece 

* Grote, History of Greece, vol xi., p^. 388, 9. 


was now to be determined : the details of the conflict need only a 
brief notice. The first great crisis was brought about by the 
attack of Philip on Oltnthts, upon the territory of which he had 
already begun to make incursions at the date of the First Philippic. 
The Olynthians, foreseeing the danger, had made peace with 
Athens about the close of b.c. 352, and in b.c, 350 envoys arrived 
at Athens bringing the news that Philip had taken one of the 
thirty-two cities of their confederacy, and asking for an alliance 
and active aid. Their cause was pleaded by Demosthenes in those 
brief, but most vigorous harangues, entitled the OlyrdJdacs^ all 
three of which were delivered in the last six months of b.c. 350.* 
The Athenians made the desired alliance, and promised help ; but 
under the influence of the peace party, they did nothing at first. 
Their attention was distracted by a war in Eubcpa, undertaken 
against the advice of Demosthenes, who himself served in it as a 
hoplite (b.c. 349). Their finances were embarrassed ; and one great 
resource, the Theoric Fund^ for the expenses of the religious festi- 
vals, was fenced about by a law making it criminal to propose its 
application to any other purpose. Demosthenes had hinted, in the 
Olynthiacs, that this money should be made available for the army; 
a citizen was at length found bold enough to propose its use ; and 
the motion was carried unanimously, though the proposer was in- 
dicted and fined (b.c. 348). But even then, though three successive 
expeditions were sent out to Chalcidice, they effected nothing of 

Meanwhile Philip strained every nerve to complete his conquest 
before the Athenians awoke to the danger. City after city fell 
before him ; till at last the gates of Olynthus were opened by 
treachery ; the city was razed to the groimd ; the inhabitants were 
sold as slaves ; and the whole Chalcidic peninsula was added to the 
Macedonian kingdom (b.c. 347). The suppression of thirty-two 
free Hellenic states, whose confederation had seemed to balance the 
power of Philip on his frontier, was a political disaster unparal- 
leled since the time of Xerxes ; for even the Peace of Antalcidas 
had left some municipal freedom to the Ionian cities ; and the true 
nature of the new despotism was made visible to the Greeks — to 
the deep shame of many of themselves — in the gangs of captives of 
both sexes, who were dragged along their roads, even into Pelopo- 

* The order of the Olvnthiacs in the editions is certainly not that in which they 
•were delivered. Bishop ThLrlwall, following Dionjsius of Haliearnassus, places them 
in the order 11., HI., L The order adopted by StiiTe and Mr. Grote, IL, I., DX, 
seems preferable. 


nesus, to be received bj the adherents of Philip with thanks for 
his generosity ; while the conqueror celebrated his victory by 
splendid games at Dinm at the Thessalian frontier. 

The indignation at Athens was the more intense, as among the 
captives sold into slavery there were some of her own citizens, 
who had been serving as auxiliaries at Olynthus. Besides, the 
victory of Philip threatened the loss of the Chersonese and the 
islands that still were hers. Loud complaints were heard against 
Chares, who was gone no one knew whither. Even Eubulus, and 
the other orators of the peace party, were energetic in their denmi- 
ciations of Philip ; and the occasion called forth the orator who was 
• destined soon to become Philip's chief supporter, and to be handed 
down to fame as at once the ablest and bitterest rival of Demos- 
thenes. ^scHixES, though six years older than Demosthenes, 
began his professional career much later. His low birth is 
£i-equently a point for the sarcasm of Demosthenes ; but we have 
no other authority for attaching any stain of dishonour to his 
family. In early youth he had assisted his father in teaching 
boys ; he had tried his fortune as an actor with little success ; he 
had been a scribe and reader to some of the Government boards ; 
and he had acted as secretary to the orators Aristophon and 
Eubulus. When raised to the office of public scribe to the 
assembly, for which he was qualified by his powei^ful and melo- 
dious voice, he gradually took com'age to come forward as an 
orator, and displayed a great native power of unpremeditated 
speech. Xature had gifted him with the physical strength which 
she had denied to Demosthenes, and he had served with distiuction 
as a soldier in the expedition to Phlius, in b.c. 368, at the battle 
of Mantinea in b.c. 362, and in Euboea in b.c. 349. The praise he 
obtained from Phocion on this occasion would naturally bind him 
more closely to the party with which he was already connected 
thi-ough Eubulus. After the fall of Olynthus, -^schines went to 
Megalopolis, as one of the envoys who were sent throughout Greece 
to stir up resistance to Philip. In this mission he earned as much 
distinction by his patriotic spirit as by his eloquence, not sparing 
the traitors who had sold themselves to the Macedonian, and 
whose opposition now neutralized his efibrts. The Arcadians 
seem, in fact, to have been too much absorbed in their rivahy 
with Sparta, to spare a thought for the remoter danger from 
Philip. The reports of the other envoys were not much more 
encom-aging ; and such was the general despondency at Athens, 
that even Demostkenes acquiesced in the necessity for peace. 


The progress of the Sacred War tended to the same point. The 
lavish expenditure of Phayllus had nearly exhausted the treasures 
of Delphi ; but Phalsecus, the youthful son of Onomarchus, still 
carried on the war, though he only kept down a strong opposition 
among the Phocians themselves by his mercenaries. Once more 
the Thebans applied to Philip as the champion of the Amphictyons 
and of Apollo, and a Macedonian army entered Thessaly. The 
Phocians, in alarm for the safety of Thermopylae, applied for aid to 
Athens as well as Sparta ; but Phalsecus, who held the pass, in- 
sultingly dismissed the forces wliich the Athenians promptly sent to 
guard it. Philip hastened to profit by his rashness to secure the 
neutrality of Athens ; and, after preliminary overtures on both 
sides, the Athenians sent that Embassy of Ten to the Macedonian 
court at Pella, which became afterwards the occasion of such 
bitter recriminations between Demosthenes and ^schines, both of 
whom served upon it, that the truth respecting it cannot be dis- 
covered. All we know is, that Philip gained favour with all the 
ambassadors by his banquets and personal attentions, and won 
over some of them by bribes ; so that they obtained no terms from 
him, either for themselves or the Phocians, but vague promises. 
On the return of the ambassadors to Athens, Demosthenes, whose 
courage had failed him when he rose to address Philip, expressed 
entire approval of the conduct of his colleagues, and he entertained 
the envoys whom Philip sent to Athens to conclude the treaty. 
But his old distrust was revived by the conduct of Philip in 
leading about the ambassadors, who were sent again to ratify the 
treaty, from place to place, while he was preparing for the invasion 
of Phocis. When the peace was finally made, on Philip's own 
terms, with the express exclusion of the Phocians, and the ambas- 
sadors returned to Athens the second time, Demosthenes protested 
against their conduct, and charged ^schines as the chief offender. 
But the people, overjoyed at the thought of peace, passed a vote 
of thanks to Philip, and summoned the Phocians to sun-ender 
Delphi; and, in the following year, JEschines gained an easy 
victory over Timarchus, who had indicted him for misconduct in 
the embassy.* 

Meanwhile Philip had followed almost on the steps of the 

* The details of these mutual recrimmations (besides the allusions in other 
speeches, and especially those "On the Crown") are contained in the speech of 
.^schincs "Agamst Timarchus," and in those of Demosthenes and uEschines "On 
the False Embassy." The two latter were not speeches actually deliyered, but memorials 
composed for circulation among the people, in B.C. 343. * 


departing envoys towards Thermopylae. On his approach, Pha- 
Isecus made terms for himself and his mercenaries. The Phocians, 
thus left without defence, surrendered all their towns ; and their 
fate was decided hy the Amphictyons, whom Philip convoked at 
Delphi. All their cities were dfestroyed, except Abse, and the 
people were dispersed into villages of not more than fifty houses 
each. They were condemned to repay, by annual instalments, 
10,000 talents, as the value of the plundered treasures of the 
temple. They were struck out of the list of the Amphictyons ; 
and Thebes was gratified with the same sentence against Sparta. 
The two votes of Phocis in the council were given to Philip, who 
was to share the Presidency of the Pythian games with the Thebans 
and Thessalians ; Macedonia was thus recognized as an Hellenic 
power ; and it only remained to yield her the supremacy of Greece 
(b.c. 346). In this Sacred War, which (like the first, in b.c. 595 — 
585)* had lasted for ten years, the badness of the Phocian cause 
had done much to invest Philip with the appearance of a champion 
of right. 

His ascendancy over the minds of the Greeks at this epoch is 
best shown by the speech of Demosthenes " On the Peace," 
advising acquiescence in the existing state of things; while 
Isocrates, who had now reached the age of ninety, put forth, in 
his " Oration to Philip," a formal renunciation of Hellenic independ- 
ence. Recognizing the conqueror as the chief of Greece, raised 
up to benefit her like his ancestor Hercules, he invites him to 
reconcile the difiierences of Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and Argos, 
and to march at the head of their united forces against Asia. 
Philip at once assumed the character of dictator, by declaring in 
favour of Messene and Megalopolis, and making an alliance with 
Argos. But there remained a strong undercurrent of distrust at 
Athens, which was confirmed by Philip's proceedings in Pelopon- 
nesus; and it found expression in the Second PMlijyjpic (b.c. 
344) and succeeding orations of Demosthenes. The peace lasted 
nominally for six years (b.c. 346 — 340) ; but during this whole 
period, Philip was making new aggressions in various parts of 
Greece, and especially in Thrace, which the Athenians put forth 
desultory efforts to counteract ; till his attacks upon the Greek 
cities of the Propontis, and at last his invasion of the Chersonese, 
led to open war (b.c. 340). The campaign began under the evil 
auspices which had so long beset the Athenian arms. Chares, 
who had been sent to the relief of Byzantium and Perinthus, 

See vol. I., p. 229. 

26 PniLIP OF MAOEDON. [Chap. XV. 

began tlie old exactions from the neiglibouring allies ; but he 
was speedily superseded by Phocion, who urged the prosecution of 
the war in a spirit of true patriotism. lie had distinguished him- 
self in the preceding year (b.c. 341) by a successful expedition 
to counteract the schemes of PKilip's partisans in Eubani, which 
thus became a new bulwark for Athens, and on this occasion 
Phocion was heartily engaged in carrying out the policy of Demos- 
thenes. The Atlienians, once more roused to etfort, sent out an 
armament of 120 triremes. The distrust of the allies vanished. 
Phocion was received at Byzantium as a deliverer. The maritime 
powers of the -zEgnean, such as Chios, Rhodes, and Cos, jomed in 
the effort for her relief. Philip was compelled to raise the siege 
both of Byzantium and Perinthus : he was repulsed in an attack 
on the Chersonese ; and the Bosporus and Hellespont were again 
open to the Athenian corn-ships. Thanks were voted to Athens 
by Byzantium, Perinthus, and the cities of the Hellespont, while 
the Athenians conferred the like honour on Demosthenes (b.c. 339). 

Thus baffled in the field, Philip fell back, as usual, on the arts 
of policy. His overtures for peace converted the Byzantines and 
other maritime states from enemies into neutrals, and left the 
Athenians to carry on the naval war almost alone ; wliile he sent 
out fresh cruisers to harass their commerce. Meanwhile he under- 
took an expedition against a tribe of Scythians, between the 
Hsemus and the Danube ; on his return from which he was defeated 
by the Thracian Triballi, and severely wounded. This expedition 
was not improbably planned with a view of giving his partisans in 
Greece free scope for their intrigues, while he appeared himself to 
have retired from the scene. 

An immediate advance to Thermopylae would probably have 
forced Thebes and Athens to unite before it was too late. But even 
in the hands of Athens alone, the common cause was more liopefiil 
than it had long been. The vigorous efforts of Demosthenes to cor- 
rect the abuses of the system of trierarchies had placed the navy 
on a most efficient footing. But all was ruined by the treason of 
the Philippizing party, who, with ^schines at their head, kindled 
the new Sacred, or " Locrian War." The town of Cirrha, long since 
devoted to Apollo, with its territory, in the First Sacred TTar, 
was too conveniently situated not to be used as a sea-port ; and it 
had come into the possession of the Locrians of Amphissa, who 
had been warm opponents of the Phocians during the recent 
conflict. At a meeting of the Amphictyons at Delphi, in the 
spring of b.c. 339, JEschines took advantage of an attack on 


Athens bv a Locrian deputy, to retort on tlie people of Ampliissa 
the charge of sacrilege for having cultivated the Crissaean plain. 
The passions of the assemblv were so roused hv his vehement 
invectives, that, had day-light been left, the Delphians, with the 
whole force at the command of the Amphictyons, would have 
rushed down at once to destroy Cirrha. The resolution was 
carried into effect on the following day, before the people of 
Amphissa could muster to the rescue; but they came down 
in time to drive out the assailants from the ruins of Cirrha, 
without violating the sacred character of the Amphictyons by 
inflicting any loss of life. The baffled council resolved to call a 
foil meeting at Thermopylse, to inflict condign punishment on the 
Locrians, who had thus added contumacy to sacrilege. The place 
appointed for the meeting was enough to indicate the purpose 
both of calling in the aid of Philip and securing for bim the 
possession of the pass. 

The deputies returned to their cities ; and even at Athens the 
force of religious sentiment neutralized the warning voice of 
Demosthenes : — '"' ^schines, you are bringing war, an Amphicty- 
onic war, into Attica." At length, however, he prevailed in 
inducing the people to send no delegates to the meeting ; and the 
same course was taken by Thebes. The first proceedings of the 
council are obscured by the contradictions of Demosthenes and 
^schines : but they reassembled at the usual time of the autumnal 
meeting at Thermopylse, when the Athenians were again repre- 
sented by ^schines and others, and the Thebans would also be 
present of course (September, b.c. 339\* ^schines now came 
forward as the open advocate of Philip's leadership, and the 
Macedonian king was invited to lead the forces of the Am- 
phictyons, with his own, for the punishment of the Locrians. 
Philip, who had now recovered from his wound, opened the cam- 
paign without delay by taking Mcsea, a town which helped to 
command Thermopylne, and which was now held by the Thebans. 
His designs became clearer still when, instead of marching upon 
Amphissa, he fortified the Phocian town of Elatea. He himself 
now threw off the mask, and invited the Thebans to unite with 
him in crushing their ancient 1ioe, or at least to grant biTTi a 
passage through their territory into Attica. Meanwhile the news 
of the capture of Elatea had reached Athens just as the Prytanes 
were sitting down to supper : and, while steps were taken in all 
haste to convene an assembly for the following day, the alarmed 

* Their secession applied only to the special meeting. 


people began to clear tlie <?ity as for a siege. In the crowded 
assembly, wliicli met at the earliest dawn, Demosthenes alone 
dared to speak. Pointing out the groundlessness of the fear 
that Philip was acting in concert with Thebes, he urged an imme- 
diate alliance between the two cities as the only chance of saving 
either. His advice was adopted unanimously ; and he was sent 
with other envoys to Thebes, where his eloquence hardly prevailed 
over the suggestions of old animosity and the new solicitations of 
Philip. But the alliance once made was as cordial as the danger 
was pressing; and the part taken by Thebes was resented by 
Philip with the most revengeful bitterness. He appealed to the 
Peloponnesian states in his character as champion of Apollo, but 
seemingly with little effect ; while the Athenians and Thebans 
gained some successes in a winter campain in Phocis, and began 
to restore the Phocian cities as a barrier against Philip. The 
enthusiasm of Athens was expressed by the vote of a golden crown 
to Demosthenes at the Dionysiac festival (March, b.o. 338). 

It seemed as if the policy of the patriot statesman were about 
to receive the nobler crown of complete success. He laboured 
hard to enlarge the alliance, and obtained contingents from the 
Achseans, the Corinthians, and probably the Euboeans and 
Megarians. But the mutual jealousies of the other Pelopon- 
nesian states kept them aloof. Meanwhile Philip marched upon 
Amphissa, defeated a large body of mercenaries, and executed 
the decree of the Amphictyons. This victory left him master of 
Phocis ; and, advancing into Boeotia, he met the united Grecian 
army on the fatal plain of Chseronea. His force consisted of 
30,000 infantry, and 2,000 cavalry ; that of the allies is not accu- 
rately known, but it was probably inferior in number, and cer- 
tainly in discipline ; nor could the presence of Demosthenes on 
the field supply the want of an able general. Phocion, whose 
field of action had so long been at Athens, was now absent on a 
maritime command, and his place was ill supplied by the united 
incompetency of the Athenians Lysicles and Chares, and the 
Theban Theagenes. 

On the other side, the Macedonians, a rough and hardy race, 
admirable as the raw material of soldiers, the Thracians, and the 
other warlike barbarians under Philip's rule, had been moulded 
by the incessant training of twenty years into a veteran army, 
complete in all the branches of horse and foot, heavy and light 
armed, archers and slingers. Its chief force lay in the renowned 
phalanx, the depth of wliich at Chseronea was sixteen men ; far 


less than, the phalanx of Epaminondas at Leuctra and Mantinea ; 
but this depth was quite sufficient, and the phalanx of Philip 
owed its great strength to the impenetrable array of long spears 
which projected from its front. The masterly generalship of 
Philip was seconded by the fiery courage of Alexaistdek, who, at 
the age of eighteen, decided the victory by a charge with the 
phalanx upon the Theban Sacred Band. That devoted body fell 
to a man in the ranks they occupied, while the Athenians, after a 
long conflict with Philip in person on the other wing, were broken 
by the new efibrt which the king made on hearing of his son's 
victory, and the rout was complete. 

The scene of the battle was long marked by a colossal stone lion 
which suiTQOunted the tumulus raised over the Theban dead, from 
the earth of which the monument has lately been disinterred. Its 
date, the 7th of August, b.c. 338, is the epoch of the extinction of 
Grecian liberty. The loss of the Thebans and Achaeans, who suf- 
fered most severely, is not stated : among the dead was the Theban 
general, Theagenes. The Athenians left 1000 citizens on the 
field, and 2000 prisoners in the hands of Philip. Both their 
generals escaped ; but Lysicles suffered death by a judicial sen- 
tence. Demosthenes, whom his enemies never ceased to taunt 
with cowardice for sharing the general flight, sm-vived to rouse the 
Athenians from their first despair, exhorting them to put the city 
in a state of defence, and himself contributing three talents to the 
work. Their confidence was expressed by his selection to pro- 
nounce the funeral oration over those slain at Chaeronea. 

The accounts of Philip's wild orgies in the fii'st joy of his vic- 
tory may reasonably be suspected ; but, if true, never was " the 
appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober" made more success- 
fully than by himself. In the consummate prudence of his con- 
duct to the allies, we cannot but trace a mixture of generosity. 
He seems to have been moved by respect for Athens, as the centre 
of Hellenic civilization, as well as for her resolute attitude of de- 
fence and her still great maritime power. For the present, at all 
events, he was content to wreak his vengeance upon Thebes, by 
selling her prisoners as slaves, putting to death several of her 
leading citizens, banishing others, confiscating their property, 
setting up an oligarchy of his own adherents, and placing a 
Macedonian garrison in the Cadmean citadel. The Bceotian cities 
were liberated, and the fi'ontier town of Oropus restored to 
Athens, which obtained terms of surprising moderation, and re- 
ceived back her prisoners without ransom. In return, she recog- 

80 PniLIP OF MACEDOX. [Chap. XV. 

nized Philip as the leader of the Hellenic world, a disgrace little 
short of political extinction. Her fall •was not unfitly symLolized 
by the death of the eldest, and one of the most famous of her 
citizens. Isocrates, who had been born when the city was at the 
acme of her glory under Pericles, and who, only two years before, 
had celebrated that glory in his great Panathenaic oration, died 
at the age of ninety-eight, of grief, at hearing of the battle of 

But Athens had still the spirit left to honom* the orator who bore 
his o-rief and assuaged hers. To understand her feelinc;s at this 
epoch, we must look forward a few years to the contest which has 
given the world its two great master-pieces of forensic oratory. 
Rising superior to the prejudice which makes success the only 
test of merit, the Athenians, after the battle of Cheeronea, voted to 
Demosthenes a golden crown (b.c. 337 — 336). Several attempts 
to impeach him had already failed ; and ^schines renewed the 
attack in the fonn of an indictment against Ctesiphon, the mover 
of the vote, for proposing an illegal decree ; but the trial did not 
come on till b.c. 330. "We need not recount the well-known 
result ; the disgraceful defeat of ^schines ; his retirement from 
Athens ; and the memorable tribute which he paid to his rival's 
surpassing eloquence when he read his speech " On the Crown" 
to his class of rhetoric at Ehodes. But in that mastei-piece of 
oratory there is one passage which sums up the whole question of 
the policy of Demosthenes in an apostrophe as time as it is daring : 
— '' It cannot be that you were wrong, Athenians, when you took 
upon you the peril of the universal freedom and salvation ! No ! 
by cm- forefathers who confi'onted the danger at Marathon, who 
stood in their ranks at Platsea, M'ho fought at Salamis I "• To such 
an appeal ill success is no reply. 

The lenity of Philip towards Athens was doubtless prompted in 
part by.his ambition to lead the united forces of Greece to the 
conquest of Persia. At a congress held at Corinth, from which 
Sparta alone was absent, war was declai-ed against the Great King, 
and Philip was appointed to conduct it as general of the Greeks. 
After a triumphant progress through Peloponnesus to enforce the 
submission of Sparta, and after receiving the adhesion of the 
western states, Philip returned to Macedonia to complete his pre- 
parations. The expedition was delayed during the whole of the 
next year (b.c. 337) by his domestic dissensions with Olympias 
and Alexander, consequent upon his marriage with Cleopatra, to 
which we shall have to recur in the next chapter. In the following 

B.C. 336.] DEATH OF PHILIP. 31 

spring liis preparations were complete. Some troops had already 
been sent forward under Parmenio to rouse the Asiatic Greeks ; 
and he only stayed to provide a fresh security for the safety of his 
kingdom, by the marriage of his daughter to Alexander of Epinis ; 
when, at the wedding festival at ^gse, he fell by the sword of 
Pausanias, a young Macedonian noble. The assassin is supposed 
to have been instigated by Olympias, and some have charged 
Alexander with a share in the crime, but upon no adequate evi- 
dence. Philip had only reached the forty-seventh year of his age, 
and the twenty-seventh of his reign, when he left to his son 
Alexander the inheritance of his great conquests and his far 
greater schemes. 



B.C. 336 TO B.C. 323. 

"And, as I was considering, behold an he goat came from the west on the face of the 
whole earth, and touched not the ground : and the goat had a notable horn between his 
eyes. And he came to the ram that had two boms, which I had seen standing before the 
rirer, and ran unto him in the fury of hi* power. And I saw him come close unto the 
ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his tn o 
horns : and there was no power in the ram to stand before hinij but he cast him down to 
the ground, and stamped upon him : and there was none that could deliver the ram out 

of his hand. Therefore the he goat waxed very great The ram which 

thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is 
the king of Grecia : and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king." 

Dardd, chap. viiL 5-8, 20, 21. 

" High on a throne with trophies charged, I viewed 
The youth, that all things but himself subdued ; 
His feet on sceptres and tiaras trod. 
And his hom'd head behed the Lybian god." — Pope. 

THENES — TRUE VIEW OF Alexander's conquest — cox'stitctiox of the macedoxiax 


Ai^EXANDEE III., of Macedonia, was the first of those con- 
querors whom men have rewarded for the sufferings they have 
inflicted, in the pursuit of power and fame, with the title of the 
Geeat. Bom in b.c. 356, he was only in his twentieth year 
when the murder of his father called him to the throne (b.c. 336) : 
and his dazzling career lasted less than thirteen years. Kature 
had endowed the young prince with that enthusiastic temper which 


deems no end too liigh to aim at, no difficulty too great to be 
surmounted. This spirit was inflamed, from his earliest youth, by 
the influence of Lysimachus, one of his tutors, who imbued his 
mind with the knowledge of Homer, and with admiration for the 
heroes of the Iliad. Claiming descent, on his father's side from 
Hercules, on his mother's from Achilles, he took the latteu for 
his own exemplar. And, while he resembled him in that thirst 
for fame, which Homer has so beautifully depicted as reckless of 
early death, he inherited from his Epirot mother a fierce, im- 
patient, and ungovernable temper, as disastrous as " the wrath of 
Achilles" to himself and others. Of Alexander, as well as 
Philip, it should be borne in mind, that the basis of character was 
thoroughly barbarian, and this element never ceased to break out 
through the superficial culture of an elaborate Greek education. 
To provide such an education for his son had been one of Philip's 
chiefest cares. The young prince was trained in a discipline of 
almost Spartan hardihood by his mother's kinsman, Leonidas. 
All know the proof he gave of his courage and skill in manly 
exercises by taming the horse Bucephalus, which Philip had 
bought for thirteen talents, and which no one else at the court 
dared to mount. This renowned charger carried Alexander 
through his campaigns in Asia ; till, dying in India, he was buried 
at the town of Bucephala, on the Hydaspes (b.c. 327). But the 
chief advantage of Alexander's education was the tuition he 
received from Aristotle during the three best years of his youth, 
from the age of thirteen to that of sixteen. We know nothing 
certain of the course which the philosopher pursued ; but we are 
told that Alexander threw himself into it with all the energy of 
his nature, and that he retained the warmest afiection for his 
preceptor. Still we may feel sure that the lessons he most 
valued were those which developed the heroic spirit of the old 
Greek poetry. He carried with him, thi-ough all his campaigns, 
a copy of the IKad, corrected by Aristotle ; but no similar example 
is recorded of his fondness for the more peaceful beauties and 
civil lessons of the Odyssey. He is said to have entertained the 
Athenian ambassadors, when they were feasted by Philip at 
Pella, with recitations from the Greek poets ; and his whole 
career was marked by a taste for literature, and a splendid 
patronage of art. But even here the bent of his character was 
shown in his preference for what was most striking, especially 
when it flattered himself, like his portrait by Apelles, wielding 
the thunderbolts of Jove. The lessons of Aristotle probably 


contributed to that early maturity of judgment and political 
knowledge, by which he is said to have astonished ceri;ain Persian 
ambassadors, who arrived at the court during his father's absence, 
and which he displayed in adjusting the affairs of Greece after 
Philip's death. As a speaker, he could always express himself in 
a manner equal to the occasion ; and, if he wanted his father's 
finished eloquence, he was free from the deep dissimulation of 
which it was so powerful an instrument. In fine, the epithet 
" superficial," applied just now to his Hellenic culture, was not 
intended to deny a considerable effect produced upon his mental 
character, but to signify that it could not reach deep enough to 
alter that basis of nature, common to his father and himself, 
which is so well described by Mr. Grote as " the self-will of a 
barbarian prince, not the ingenium civile, or sense of reciprocal 
obligation and right in society with others, which marked more or 
less even the most powerful members of a Grecian city, whether 
oligarchical or democratical." * This quality distinguishes him 
from Pisistratus and Caesar, and marks the oriental character of 
his despotism, even before he became an Asiatic sovereign. 

Alexander began his public life as early as his sixteenth year, 
in the capacity of regent during Philip's campaign on the 
Bosporus (b.c. 340) ; and we have seen how he distinguished 
himself at Chseronea two years later. The brief interval before 
Philip's death was marked by a violent quarrel in the royal family, 
which seemed to endanger Alexander's succession. His mother, 
Olympias, had so disgusted Philip by her intolerable temper, that 
he divorced her and married Cleopatra, the niece of his general. 
Attains. At the wedding banquet there occurred a scene, 
thoroughly characteristic of the essential barbarism of the Mace- 
donian court : — 

" Natis in usum laetitiaa scjphis 
Pugnare Thracum est." 

Heated with wine. Attains called for a toast to the prospect of a 
legitimate heir to the throne, thus placing Olympias and her off- 
spring on the same footing as Philip's numerous illicit connections. 
Alexander flung his drinking-cup at Attains, with the farious cry, 
" Am I then a bastard ? " Philip rushed up to his son with his 
sword drawn ; but, too intoxicated to keep his footing, he fell 
prostrate on the floor, while Alexander left the hall, exclaiming, 
" Behold the man who was about to pass from Europe to Asia, 
but has been overthrown in going from one couch to another." 

"^ * Grote, History of Greece, vol idL, p. 2. 


Little did lie foresee how bitterly the taunt would recoil upon 
himself by his murder of Clitus. 

Olympias withdrew to her brother Alexander in Epirus ; and 
Alexander fled into IlJyria. Their prospects were darkened by 
the birth of a son to Philip and Cleopatra, who received the very 
significant name of Caranus, the mythical ancestor of the Mace- 
donian kings. The relatives of Cleopatra were promoted, while 
the friends of Alexander were banished. They appear to have 
stirred up the Epirots and Illyrians to an invasion of Macedonia. 
Civil war would have been a fatal hindrance to Philip's schemes of 
Asiatic conquest. He effected an outward reconciliation ; and 
Olympias and Alexander returned to his court ; both, however, 
still with hostile feelings, and the former with that implacable 
resentment, to which probably Philip fell a victim.* We have no 
ground to conjecture what might have been the result to Alexander, 
had his father lived ; but Philip, at the age of forty-seven, might 
well postpone the question of the succession, and the services of 
Alexander would be too precious to lose in the meantime.f 

The dagger of Pausanias cut through the doubt, and the crown 
was placed on Alexander's head by his namesake, Alexander of 
Lyncestis, who owed his life to this good service, when the other 
conspirators were put to death with Pausanias. Other persons, 
not implicated in the conspiracy, were despatched as obstacles to 
be removed out of Alexander's way. Among them was his cousin 
Amyntas, whom Philip had set aside to seize the throne. The 
Persian king boasted, whether truly or not, that he had had a 
share in contriving Philip's murder : and the Athenians, prompted 
by Demosthenes, made pubhc demonstrations of a joy so exulting, 
that it was rebuked by Phocion as ungenerous. Demosthenes, 

* Cleopatra, the unfortunate cause of the quarrel, was tortured to death with hot 
irons by the order of Olympias, after her infant had been murdered in her arms ; and 
Olympias dedicated in a temple the dagger which had given Philip the fatal blow. 

\ It is one of the curious coincidences of history, that in the two monarchies, so 
much alike in many points, of Macedonia and Russia, Alexander the son of Phihp, 
and Alexander the son of Paul, should have mounted the throne each at a most 
critical epoch, and each under the suspicion of a share in his father's murder, founded 
on the well-known legal maxim of " Cui bono." But even this ground of suspicion 
though strengthened in the ancient example by the previous quarrel and still existing 
risks, is of Uttle force in the absence of positive evidence. Niebuhr, indeed, declares 
that "Alexander was no doubt deeply impUcated in this murder. A jury would 
have condemned him as an accomphce. But he was prudent enough to make away 
with the participators in the conspiracy, who might have betrayed him ; . . and 
their blood was shed that he might not become known as a parricide." — Lectures on 
Ancient History, Lect. Ixix. 


vrho was already in communication with Persia, witli the view of 
impeding Philip's march, used every effort to stir up revolt; 
and agitation prevailed through all Greece, though no open 
movement was attempted. 

Alexander soon gave proof of how much Demosthenes had under- 
rated his ability. About two months after his father's death, he 
marched into Thessaly, where he was recognised as the head of the 
Greek nation, by a public vote, which was confirmed by the 
Amphictyons at Thermopylae. He entered Thebes without oppo- 
sition, and, leaving Athens alone for the present, he passed 
through the Isthmus into . Peloponnesus, where his presence was 
sufficient to stifle all germs of resistance. By this time Athens 
was completely overawed. The city had been prepared for a siege, 
and the country people collected within the walls ; but submission 
was decided on ; and Demades, who had negotiated the peace 
with Philip, was appointed to can-y a full apology to Alexander, 
with the recognition of his headship of Greece, and an adulatory 
vote of divine honours. Demosthenes declined the dangerous 
distinction of accompanying him. 

PetmTiingto Corinth, Alexander convoked the states of Greece, 
and demanded the appointment as generalissimo for the Persian 
"War, which had been conferi'ed on his father at the same place. 
As before, Sparta alone had the courage to stand aloof, under the 
influence of Agis IH., who had succeeded to the thi'one in the 
veiw year of the battle of Chseronea (b.c. 33S), and whose attempt 
to throw off the Macedonian yoke, dming Alexander's absence in 
Asia, came to a disastrous issue, in b.c. 330. The supremacy 
conferred upon Alexander included, besides the command of the 
Greek armies abroad, the preservation of the peace, and the 
settlement of disputes at home. The Hellenic states were united 
into a confederacy under his dictatorship ; each, however, pre- 
serving its freedom and autonomy ; and certain articles were 
drawn up, and ratified by oaths, to secure freedom of commerce 
and the general peace. 

It was dming the congress of Corinth that Alexander had his 
celebrated interview with Diogenes of Sinope, the founder of the 
Cynic school of philosophy.* True to his principles, Diogenes 
had refused to mingle with the crowd in which philosophers joined 
with the rest to congratulate the king, and Alexander was fain to 

* It matters nothing to the spirit of the transaction, whether the interview took place 
at this time, or on Alexander's return to Corinth in the following year, after the destruc- 
tion of Thebes. 


gratify his curiosity by a visit to the suburb where Diogenes 
resided. He found him basking in the sun — some say at the 
mouth of the tub which served him for a kennel — and w^th affable 
condescension asked how he could serve him. " By standing out 
of my sunshine " was the answer, which veiled, under its churlish 
form, the lesson which sovereigns so often need to learn, that they 
are not lords over the elements : — 

" What though, hke commoners of air, 
We wander out, we know not where, 

But either house or hall : 
Yet nature's charms, the hills and woods, 
The sweeping vales, and foaming floods. 
Are free alike to all." 

Amidst the ridicule of the courtiers at the man who had no favour 
to ask of a king, Alexander, almost envying his contented inde- 
pendence, turned away with the remark, " If I were not Alexander, 
I would be Diogenes." 

With the ensuing spring Alexander found it necessary to take 
order with the barbarians on his northern frontier, before he could 
pass over into Asia. Crossing the Htemus (Balkan), he subdued 
the Triballi and other Thracians ; advanced against the Getse, and 
received the submission of the tribes as far as the Danube. Then, 
turning westward, he crushed a revolt among the Illyrians and 
Taulantians (b.c. 335). 

Meanwhile, the conduct of the Macedonian officers in Greece 
began to prove that Alexander's government would be a tyranny, 
and that the recent stipulations would be held in little respect. 
During the winter of b.c. 336-5, the Athenian orators became 
b51d in their remonstrances, and Demosthenes renewed his corre- 
spondence with the Persian king, who sent both money and 
emissaries into Greece. But hatred of the conqueror was most 
bitterly felt at Thebes, where the Cadmean citadel was still 
occupied by a Macedonian garrison. On a report that Alexander 
had been killed in his northern expedition, the city openly revolted, 
and Demosthenes persuaded the Athenians to support the Thebans. 
The insurrection was at once crushed by the rapidity of Alex- 
ander's movements. Thebes was taken, amidst a fearftd massacre ; 
and the Greeks were subjected to the humiliation of passing the 
sentence, by which the city was razed to the ground. The Cadmea 
was left to be held as a Macedonian fort, and the people were 
sold as slaves. The house in which Pindar had lived was alone 
spared in the destruction of the city : — 


" The great Emathian conqueror bid spare 
The house of Pindaras, when temple and tower 
Went to the ground." * 

Alexander is said to have afterwards recognized a punishment 
jfrom the hand of Dionysus, the patron deity of Thebes, in the 
drunken fury which drove him to murder Clitus, and in the 
mutiny of his army in India. A few years after his death, 
Cassander, the son of Antipater, joined with the Athenians in re- 
building the city (e.g. 316). 

This teiTible example at once secured the submission of the 
other states, and caused extreme alarm to the Athenians, who had 
been culpably remiss in neglecting to send aid to Thebes. A 
letter soon arrived from Alexander, demanding the surrender of 
eight orators and two generals, who were named as the chief 
authors of the resistance to Philip at Chseronea, and of all the 
hostile demonstrations since. Among them, of course, was Demos- 
thenes. He urged the people to resist a demand that struck a 
fatal blow at the free speech on which their whole polity hung ; 
and related the old fable of the wolf requiring the sheep to give 
up their watch-dogs for the sake of peace. Phocion, only coming 
forward at the repeated call of the assembly, counselled submission 
to the irresistible power of Alexander, and called on the Ten to 
sacrifice themselves for the public safety, a course which he declared 
he would not have shrunk from had the case been his own. But 
a more generous spirit moved the assembly, and they dared to 
send a refusal, though it was by such a reply to a like demand 
that Thebes had sealed her fate. But they sent their answer in 
the form of an apology by one and a second embassy ; and the 
influence of Phocion at last prevailed on Alexander to be satisfied 
with the banishment of Charidemus and Ephialtes. These, with 
other military leaders, took service among the Greek mercenaries 
of the Persian king. Phocion's influence was now supreme at 
Athens ; and Alexander had the wisdom to prefer the hold he 
might thus keep on the city, which he flattered with the title of 
the second state in Greece, to a conflict which must have been 
fierce, and perhaps long and even doubtful, considering the mari- 
time power of Athens. On his return to Pella, Alexander visited 
Delphi, and received the sanction of the oracle to his expedition 
against Persia (e.g. 335). He never set foot in Greece again ; but 
he left behind him proofs enough of his civil as well as military 
energy, and partisans sufficiently numerous in the several states, 

* Milton's Sonnet, " When the assault was intended to the city." 


to secure submission during his absence. Sparta alone maintained 
a sullen independence ; and her unavailing effort for liberty, under 
Agis, is almost the only important event in the history of Greece 
during the eleven years of Alexander's Asiatic conquests. The 
events of the last eighteen months had also given ample proof of 
his ability to lead on to victory the forces, which he spent the 
winter in finally preparing, and which mustered between Pella and 
Amphipohs early in the following spring (b.c. 33-i). A glance 
must now be thrown to the other side of the JEgsean, that we may 
see in what condition the Persian empire was to receive the coming 

We left the history of Persia, at its constitution by Darius, the 
son of Hystaspes, only adding a brief summary of its subsequent 
fortunes.'^ We have since seen how, after the collapse which 
followed the expedition of Xerxes, the events of the Pelopon- 
nesian War revived the power of Persia, under Darius 11. 
Nothus (b.c. 424 — 405). During the long reign of his suc- 
cessor, Artaxerxes II. Mnemon (b.c. 405 — 359), the empire 
seemed to have recovered much of its ancient vigour. The death 
of the younger Cyrus confirmed his brother's power, though their 
mother, Parysatis, contrived to avenge his fate by refinements of 
cruelty known only to orientals. The slave who, at the command 
of Artaxerxes, had cut off the head and hands of Cyrus, was won 
by her from the king at dice, and put to death with unutterable 
tortures ; and the queen, Statira, is said to have been despatched 
by means of food which Parysatis cut for her with a knife poisoned 
on one side. Such scenes reveal the internal life of the Persian 

Meanwhile, the league in Greece against Sparta delivered the 
empire from the invasion of Agesilaus (b.c. 394), and the in- 
trigues of Sparta, on the other hand, enabled Artaxerxes to 
dictate to Greece the shameful peace of Antalcidas (b.c. 38Y).t 
Evagoras, who had recovered the kingdom of Salamis, in Cyprus, 
from the tyrant who had usurped it (b.c. 410), and had reigned 
with equal ability and justice, was subdued, after a ten years' 
war, in b.c. 385. This war was with a Greek on the frontier of 
the empire, who had only been a subject in name. There were 
others against rebellious satraps, in which Artaxerxes was less 
successfal. Of these the most remarkable was Datames, the 
satrap of Cilicia, whom his biographer, Cornelius Nepos, calls the 

* Chap. X. vol L p. 294. For a complete list of the Persian kmgs see the note on 
that page. X ^oL I. pp. 536, 549. 


ablest and bravest of all barbarian generals, except Hamilcar and 
Hannibal. Driven into rebellion bv the intrigues of his enemies 
at court, he set the example of revolt to other satraps, and was 
mm-dered bj Mithi'idates in b.c. 362. Ariobarzanes, the father of 
this Mithridates, succeeded in establishing the independence of 
his satrapy of Pontus, which we shall see hereafter as a powerful 
kino-dom, under his son's celebrated namesake. 

In the very centre of the empire, there were nations which 
refused obedience to the great king. The expedition of C}-rus 
shows us the Cilician prince Syennesis, bearing the same name as 
his ancestor in the time of Cyaxares,* and seemingly preserving 
an independence handed down fi-om that period. The neighbour- 
ing Pisidians, as well as the Carduchi or Kurds of Mount Zagrus, 
were at perpetual war with the Persians. The ITxii held pos- 
session of the passes between Susa and Persepolis, and the king 
had to pay them tribute in order to keep open the road between 
the two capitals. Egypt, as we have seen, preserved its inde- 
pendence fi'om the tenth year of Darius uSTotlms (b.c. 414), 
through the whole reign of Artaxerxes, till she was subdued, by 
the aid of Greek mercenaries, under Artaxerxes III., Ochus 
(b.c. 353).f In short, the empire was rapidly tending to disso- 
lution when Artaxei-xes died, in the same year in which Philip 
ascended the throne of Macedonia (b.c. 359). 

Ochus. who probably obtained the tiara by the murder of his 
father, secm*ed it by the extu'pation of the other members of the 
royal family, and his court realized the oriental ideal of mingled 
cruelty and voluptuousness. But his power was preserved from 
contempt by the energy of Bagoas, his chief eunuch, or, as the 
Greek writei*s call him, " chiliarch," and by the aid of his Greek 
mercenaries. Bagoas equalled Ochus in cruelty, and governed 
him in everything else ; carrying the king about with him on his 
expeditions, to prevent his exercising any independent authority. 
In putting down the rebellions of the satraps, Bagoas used the 
services of the Greek mercenaries. Among the most notorious of 
these were two brothers, Phodians, named Mentor and Memnon, 
who fii'st became conspicuous in the service of Artabazus, the 
satrap of Plu-ygia, who married their sister. Artabazus, who had 
aided in putting down the revolt of Datames, rebelled in b.c. 356, 
but was defeated by Bagoas, and took refuge with Philip of Mace- 
don. Memnon fled with him, and Mentor entered the service of 
Nectanebo 11., King of Egypt. 

* YoL L p. 256. t lb. p. 140. 


About this time, the oppression of the Persian governors had 
driven the Phoenicians to revolt, and Mentor was sent bv the King 
of Egypt to their aid, at the head of a body of mercenaries. 
Bagoas now urged Ochus to make a great effort to re-conquer 
Phoenicia and Egypt, and he succeeded in enrolling a body of 
10,000 Greek mercenaries. Phocion did not scruple to serve the 
Persian king, and the Thebans fiimished him with a body of 
troops. The Sidonians, betrayed by their king Tennes, burnt 
themselves with their city (b.c. 351). The catastrophe is one of 
the most fearful recorded in history. Forty thousand human 
beings perished in the flames, and Artaxerxes sold the ruins to 
speculators in the gold and silver to be dug out from the ashes. 
Tennes was put to death as soon as his treachery was of no further 
use. Mentor, who had gone over with Tennes, and entered the 
service of Ochus, now led back his mercenaries into Egypt as an 
enemy, and contributed greatly to the conquest of that country. 
Raised high in the favour of the Persian king by these services, 
he threatened to become a formidable rival of Bagoas ; but their 
intrigues ended in a mutual understanding, by which they shared 
the power nominally held by Ochus. Mentor was invested with 
the satrapy of the maritime coasts of Asia Minor, a new distinc- 
tion for a Greek ; and his influence procured the pardon of Memnon 
and Artabazus. On his death Memnon succeeded to his power, 
which promised to be the most serious obstacle to the designs of 
Alexander (b.c. 336). Bagoas, who two years before had mur- 
dered Ochus and all his sons, except the youngest, Arses, put him 
also to death, and placed on the throne the unfortunate Daeits 
m. CoDOMANmrs, who was descended from Darius Xothus only 
on his mother's side. The ambitious eunuch had planned the 
removal of this last obstacle between himself and the crown, but 
his plot was discovered by Darius, and he was compelled to drink 
the poison he had mixed for the king. 

The favourable judgment generally formed of the last sovereign 
of Persia seems to have been much influenced by sympathy for 
his misfortunes. He had been brought up in comparative freedom 
from the emasculating corruption of the court ; and he has one 
great, though negative merit, that no act of cruelty can be laid to 
his charge. He had abeady gained reputation as a soldier ; "^ but 
he gave no signs of the energy or foresight needed to meet the 
invasion, of which he had ample notice. Darius is said, indeed, 

* The accounts of his personal courage at Arbela are quite disproved by Arrian's 


to have spent the smnmer of b.c. 335 in collecting great forces 
both by sea and land ; but the defence of Asia Minor was left 
chiefly to Memnon and his mercenaries. The Macedonian army, 
which, as vre have seen, was sent over into Asia by Philip, 
imder Parmenio and Attains, after taking possession of the Greek 
cities in Mysia, was kept in check by Memnon, and even — it 
would seem — driven back across the Hellespont. Meanwhile 
Demosthenes and the patriot party at Athens maintained commu- 
nications with Memnon. with a view to emban^ass the enter- 
prise of Alexander. This policy has often been represented as a 
siding with the ancient enemy of Greece, in order to revenge 
themselves on the present foe. But, as matters now stood, Demos- 
thenes regarded Macedon, rather than Persia, as the arch-enemy 
of Hellenic liberty and civilization. The prevailing sentiment of 
Greece tended in the opposite direction. It was not at once easy to 
believe that the empire of Darius and Xerxes, the kingdom which 
had lately dictated t«rms of peace to the Greek states, and had 
reconquered the provinces of Egypt, Phcerdcia, and Cyprus, was 
in a state of harmless decrepitude. When Demosthenes himself 
began his public career, there were great apprehensions of war 
with Persia, on account of the aid given by Chares to Arta- 
bazus. His first extant speech " On the Symmories," though 
delivered in the very year in which Philip was actively intriguing 
in Eubo?a (b.c, 354), deals, not with the danger so near home, 
but with the means of organizing the resources of the city against 
its former enemy. Each peace that was made with Philip gave 
new life to the sentiment, of which we have the eloquent expres- 
sion in the '' Panegrvric Oration*' of Isocrates, that Greece had 
found a champion to avenge the invasions of Darius and Xerxes ; 
and the hope of a last triumph of Hellenism over barbarism 
formed some consolation for the catastrophe of Chasronea and 
the fate of Thebes. Which view was right ? Not necessarily 
that which was justified by the issue : for, in politics, as in other 
human afiairs, success is not the sole test of priuciples. The 
party of Demosthenes had at least the rectitude of pure patriot- 
ism ; nor was their failure so certain as to justify their opponents 
in a course, the motives of which were lower even than far-sighted 
policy. Athens was the centre of Hellenic liberty. A great 
modem historian, speaking in the light of the event, says, — " We 
feel indifferent how the rest fare, seeing there is no longer any 
help for Athens." But he none the less recognizes the different 
point of view fi-om which Demosthenes regarded the possibility 


that Greece might yet be saved, by playing Persia and Macedonia 
against each other. '' The mere negative existence of Persia 
saved Athens after the battle of Chseronea ; the fear lest the 
Persian and Athenian fleets should attack Macedonia induced 
Philip to grant to the Athenians such favourable terms. So long 
as the Persian empire existed, the servitude of Greece was 
anything but irretrievable ; it was only necessary for the Pelo- 
ponnesians to be informed of their true position, and to have 
their eyes opened to the tyi'anny of Macedonia, to put an end 
to its power." * Such is the true justification of Demosthenes, 
even when he received monev from Persia to ^ain over the 

When, however, we turn from the questions of the day to the 
wider view of Alexander's enterprise, as a step in the history of 
the world, we cannot but see that the time had come for a great 
change upon both continents. Greece had, for the time, done her 
work ; and her existing race, both of people and statesmen, had 
proved themselves unworthy to enjoy longer the liberty of which 
she had given the pattern to coming ages. However great her 
loss, it was an unspeakable gain to Asia to have the yoke of an 
efiete despotism broken off her neck, and the language of Homer 
and Sophocles, the political wisdom of Pericles and Thucydides, 
the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, the art of Phidias and 
Apelles, spread from the ^ga&an to the Caspian, from the Xile to 
the Indus. Above all, the general diffusion of the Greek language 
through the East proved a powerful instrument for the rapid 
spread of Christianity. 

In the army which Alexander assembled for his expedition, the 
most important element was the Macedonian phalanx, which had 
been perfected by Philip. It was based on the Loch U8 or Band of 
sixteen men as its first unit, and this number expressed the 
regular depth of each file. Its chief component part was the 
Pentaco&iarchy, or Regiment of Five Himdred, which consisted of 
512 men (besides ten supernumeraries), being made up of two 
squares of 256 men, 16 on each face of the scjuare, each square 
comprising 16 lochi.f Such a regiment formed a body complete 
in all its equipments, and capable of acting by itself as a phalanx. 
Eight of these regiments, or sixteen squares, formed the simple 
phalanx of 4096 men ; and four times that number the quadruple 

* Niebuhr, Lectures on Ancient IHstory, by Schmitz, Lect. Itti , 

f The name of this square was Syntagma, which signifies a body drawn up in 


phalanx, of 16,384, M'hicli appears to have been the full sum of 
Philip's heavy infantry. When Alexander reorganized his army 
at Susa, he doubled many of the regiments to the force of four 
squares, or 1,024 men, under the command of a Chiliarch. The 
whole phalanx bore the name of Pezeiceri {Foot- Companions), or 
Foot-Guards of the king. 

The ponderous strength of the phalanx required support from a 
body more flexible in its evolutions, and this was supplied by the 
Hyjyaspists (Shield-Bearers), or Guards, who originally formed 
the body-guard of the king. Their organization and array resem- 
bled that of tlie Greek hoplites. They were employed in operations 
requiring the strength of regular infantry, but for which the 
unchangeable order of the phalanx was too cumbrous, — such as 
rapid night marches, and the assault of fortified places. In some 
of Alexander's battles, the Hypaspists are used to support the 
cavalry and light-armed troops, and they are themselves supported 
by the phalanx. The light-amied troops consisted of a mixed 
multitude of peltasts, javelin-men, archers, and slingers, partly 
Macedonian, but for the most part foreigners. Either by them- 
selves or mixed with the cavalry, they skirmished in the front and 
flank of the heavy infantry, or pursued an enemy in flight. 
Alexander kept them incessantly occupied. The Macedonian 
army was not more distinguished by the phalanx than by its 
splendid cavalry, a force cultivated by the earliest kings, and 
brought to perfection by Philip. The plains extending beside the 
Macedonian rivers were equally favourable to the breeding of 
horses and to the evolutions of cavalry; and the adjacent barbar 
rian tribes, up to and beyond the Danube, have always been 
renowaied as fearless horsemen. When Philip invaded Scythia a 
few years before his death, he is said to have sent 20,000 chosen 
mares into Macedonia. The cavalry, like the infantry, formed 
two distinct bodies. The heavy cavalry, who were honoured with 
the title of Companions (as the infantry of the phalanx were 
called Foot-Companions), were armed with a short pike (xyston) 
for dealing thrusts in close combat ; the light-armed were called 
Lancers (Sarissophori), from their longer spears, and were em- 
ployed for skirmishing and scouring the country. The Companions 
were divided into squadrons, some of which were named from the 
cities and districts of Macedonia. Their usual place was in the 
front of the battle array, and Alexander himself generally charged 
at the head of the Agema or Leading Squadron. His person was 
always surrounded by the Royal Youths, a select body of the sons 


of the Macedonian nobles, and from these were chosen the most 
select corps of all, the Body-Guards, who fought around him in 
the field, and from whom he selected commanders for special 
services. Finally, the care of Philip had attached to the army 
what has been well called an efiective siege-train, composed of the 
best engines for battering walls and hurling missiles which had 
yet been invented ; and Alexander either carried this artillery 
with him or had it constructed as occasion required by his skilled 
engineers. This arm contributed greatly to his conquests, while its 
use gave to his celebrated successor, Demetrius, the title of Polior- 
cetes, the Besieger of Cities. The capital Pella was the great central 
depot of this vast military organization, which, as Mr. Grote has 
observed, was the embodiment of that martial pride, which stood 
the Macedonians in lieu of a national sentiment : — " The Mace- 
donian kingdom was nothing but a well-combined military machine, 
illustrating the irresistible superiority of the rudest men, trained 
in arms and conducted by an able general, not merely over undis- 
ciplined multitudes, but also over free, courageous, and disciplined 
citizenship with highly gifted intelligence." 

It is important to observe what part Alexander's newly acquired 
Greek subjects had in this greatly military organization. That part, 
in fact, was very small. The Thessalians, indeed, who had become 
almost a dependency of Macedonia, contributed their celebrated 
cavalry, and bodies of hoplites were raised in various parts of Greece. 
But mutual jealousy, combined with Alexander's pride in his ovm 
army, seems to have prevented any general muster of the national 
forces under their new generalissimo ; and the Greek auxiliaries 
were more numerous in the Persian than in the Macedonian 

Such was the force with which Alexander marched forth to the 
conquest of Asia in the spring of e.g. 334. His oldest counsellors, 
Antipater and Parmenio, had advised the postponement of the 
expedition till he could leave an heir behind him ; but he preferred 
to lessen the risks of his absence by putting to death the con- 
nections of his late step-mother Cleopatra, and entrusting the 
regency to Antipater, whom he continued to support firmly against 
the jealousies of Olympias. Leaving with Antipater an army of 
12,000 infantiy and 1,500 cavalry, he took with him a force prob- 
ably of 30,000 infantry and 4,500 cavaby, while the highest 
estimate is only 43,000 infantry and 4,000 cavaby.* 

* This is the account of Diodorus, who gives us the detailed composition of the anny 
as follows : — 


The smallness of this force must not be viewed as a matter of 
vague wonder. There are three modes by which an invader may 
attempt the conquest of a country, not to mention the case of the 
migration of an entire people. There is the plan of the Asiatic 
despot, like Xerxes, attempting to carry wdth him an army numer- 
ous enough to overpower resistance, with all its supplies ; — a plan 
as impracticable for Alexander as it was out of date. ISText, there 
is the powerful and numerous army, resting on a vast base of oper- 
ations, like that with which Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, 
or more moderate numbers, reinforced and supplied by an open 
communication with their resources, like the allied army in the 
Crimea in 1854 — 6. Lastly, there is the movable column, which 
throws itself into the heart of an enemy's country, trusting to 
rapid success for safety. The last was the character of Alex- 
ander's movement into Asia ; and he gave at once a proof of his 
great military qualities, by not encumbering himself with numbers 
difficult to maintain. He had, however, from the first, a secure 
military base in his possession of Thrace, and, after his first 
victories had given him the command of Asia Minor, rein- 
forcements and supplies continued to reach him across the 

It was in April, e.g. 334, that Alexander finally turned his 
back on his hereditary kingdom, to become the sovereign of a 
new empire. His march was from Pella, through Amphipolis, 
along the coast of Thrace, and down the Chersonese. In sixteen 
days he reached Sestos, and embarked on the fleet which had 


Macedonian phalanx and hypaspists 12,000 

Allies, chiefly from the Greek states 7,000 

Mercenaries 6,000 

Total regular infantry, under Parmenio .... 24,000 

Thracians and Ill)Tians 5,000 

Agrianes (Paeonian jaTelin-men) and archers .... 1,000 

Total infantry 30,000 


Macedonian heavy — under Philotas, son of Parmenio . . 1,500 

Thessalian heavy, imder Callas 1,500 

Miscellaneous Grecian, under Erigyius 600 

Thracian and Paeonian light, under Cassander . . . . 900 

Total cavahy 4,500 

The above account of the Macedonian army is, in substance, that of Mr. Grote, 
History of Greece^ chap, xcii 


been appointed to meet him there. While the passage of the 
army to Abydos was effected by Pai-menio without resistance, 
Alexander went to Eloeus, at the extremity of the Chersonese, to visit 
the shi'ine of Protesilaiis, who had been the first Greek to disem- 
bark on the Trojan shore, and had fallen by the spear of Hector. 
Having invoked the hero to give a happier issue to his own land- 
ing, Alexander crossed over in the admiral's ship, which he 
steered with his own hand for the beach near the mouth of the 
Hellespont, where the Greeks were believed to have landed for the 
war with Troy. He sacrificed midway to Poseidon and the 
l^ereids ; as he approached the land, he hurled his spear on shore, 
as a sign that he took possession of Asia ; and was the first to 
leap in full armour on to the beach. There was no Hector to 
oppose him ; no Troy to resist his progress ; but he stayed to 
celebrate the former glories of the spot. On the hill of Ilium he 
sacrificed to Athena, the tutelary deity of the departed city. At 
the tomb of Priam he made expiatory offerings for the cruelty of 
his ancestor Neoptolemus. But his chief reverence was paid to 
his favourite hero and model, Achilles, whose monumental pillar 
he crowned with a garland, and ran naked round it, anointed 
with oil, after the manner of a Grecian athlete. The place where 
his army had crossed was marked by altars to Jove, Hercules, and 
Athena, both on the European and the Asiatic shores. In these 
proceedings we may see, not only the heroic youth emulating the 
fame of his ancestor, in the same spirit of seeking every good in 
war and conquest, — 

" Jura negat sibi nata, nihil non arrogat armis" * — 

but also the chief captain of the Hellenic name carrying out the 
poetical idea with which Herodotus opens his history, that the 
wars of Greece and Persia were the decision of the long quarrel 
between the two continents, which began even earlier than the 
siege of Troy. 

The unopposed passage of the Hellespont, notwithstanding the 
vastly superior naval force of Persia, and in opposition to the 
advice of Memnon, seems to imply that the satraps were confident 
in their ability to crush the army of Alexander. They had as- 
sembled a large force at Zelea, near the Propontis, under the 
command of Arsites, the satrap of Phrygia. "With him were 
associated forty men of the highest rank, called the kinsmen of 
the king ; among whom were Spithridates, satrap of Lydia and 
Ionia, Mithridates, Phamaces, and others. A large proportion of 

* We are indebted to Mr. Grote for this application of the verse. 


the whole force was formed by the Asiatic cavalry, which numbered 
20,000 men ; the infantry are reckoned at the same number by 
Arrian, who is the best authority, though other writers make them 
far more numerous. A large part of them were Greek mercena- 
ries, under the command of Memnon. This able leader, well 
knowing the might of the Macedonian infantry, and the confi- 
dence inspired by the presence of Alexander, earnestly dissuaded 
the risking of a battle. His advice was, to retire before the invad- 
ers, wasting the country, and even destroying the towns, and to 
employ the superior naval force of Persia in harassing the coasts 
of Macedonia and Greece. But the satraps were equally unwill- 
ing to incur the disgrace of retreat and to destroy the country 
on which they depended for their revenues. They resolved to 
hazard a battle, and took uj) their station on the little river 
GEAisicrs (Koja Chai), which flows fi-om Mount Ida into the 
Propontis. The post occupied by the Persians was on the right 
or eastern bank of the river, just where the last slopes of Ida 
sink down to a plain that extends to the sea. The river itself is 
shallow, and fordable in several places ; but the steepness of the 
bank gave some strength to the position. 

Alexander advanced steadily from Arisba, where he had reviewed 
his army, by a line of march parallel to the shore of the Hellespont 
and the Propontis. The phalanx was preceded by a strong advanced 
guard of cavalry and light-armed foot, and flanked on both wings 
by the rest of the cavalry, the baggage following in the rear. On 
the fourth day, Alexander approached the Granicus, and made his 
dispositions for an attack on the enemy, whose cavalry lined the 
opposite bank. The Macedonian army was divided into a right and 
left wing, each composed of half the phalanx, flanked on its outer 
side first by the Hypaspists, then by the light cavalry, and lastly 
by the heavy cavalry, consisting, on the right, of the " Companions,'' 
on the left, of the Thessalians. The king himself took the com- 
mand of the right division, entrustino- the left to Pannenio. Alex- 
ander's division was the first to attempt the passage of the river ; and 
a close conflict was joined*^y the cavalry on both sides, Memnon and 
his sons fighting in the front rank with the bravest of the Persians. 
The latter, having the vantage of the bank, made a strenuous 
resistance to the landing of the Greeks. The battle became a press 
of horseman against horseman, in which the short pikes of the 
Macedonian Companions gave them an immense advantage over 
the missile javelins of the Persians. The bank was carried, and 
the battle continued on the high plain above it. Alexander, fore- 


most, as usual, in tlie charge, became engaged in a personal con- 
flict with several of the Persian satraps. A blow of his pike in the 
face hm-led Mithridates from his horse. A second stroke thrust 
through Rhoesaces, whose scimitar had just shorn off part of Alex- 
ander's helmet. At this moment, the sword of Spithridates was 
uplifted over Alexander's head from behind, when Clitus, one of 
Philip's veteran officers, severed the Persian's arm from his body. 
How he was finally rewarded for saving his master's life, is one of 
the most melancholy passages in Alexander's history. 

In this melee the Persian cavalry were broken ; and they were 
soon in full flight, pursued by the Macedonian horse ; while Alex- 
ander brought up the phalanx and the hypaspists to attack the 
infantry, who had as yet taken no part in the combat. These, 
consisting chiefly of Greek mercenaries, fought with a courage 
worthy of their race ; but they were outnumbered and borne down 
by the weight of the phalanx. They fell in their ranks to a man, 
with the exception only of 2000 prisoners, and a few who lay 
hidden among the slain, so densely did these heap the field. 
Their destruction deprived Persia of a large part of the force best 
fitted to stand against Alexander. The loss of the Persian cavalry 
was not more than 1000, but among these were included a large 
number of their noblest princes. Their general, Arsites, escaped 
from the field, but put himself to death through mortification at 
his defeat. 

The loss on Alexander's side is stated at only 25 of the Com- 
panions, 60 of the other cavalry, and 30 of the infantry ; numbers 
which would be incredibly small were not the disproportion paral- 
leled, as we have seen, in other battles of the ancient Greeks. The 
services of the fallen, and the sufferings of the wounded, were 
honoured by Alexander in a manner worthy of a victory that gave 
the presage of complete success. With his usual generosity to his 
followers, he consoled the wounded by visiting them in person, 
and granted to the relatives of the slain immunity from taxation 
and personal service. The twenty-five slain Companions were 
distinguished by bronze statues at Dium from the hand of Alex- 
ander's favourite sculptor, Lysippus. The funeral honours of the 
slain were shared by the bodies of the enemy. In dealing with 
the Greek prisoners as traitors to the common cause of Greece, 
and sending them to Macedonia to work in chains as slaves, Alex- 
ander might claim to be more merciful than the Greeks themselves, 
who had often put to death prisoners whom they viewed as rebels. 
While striking terror into the disaffected Greeks by this example, 


he took a step at once to conciliate Athens, to express his resent- 
ment against Sparta, and to keep in view his character as the 
leader of the Hellenic nation, by sending three hundred panoplies 
to be dedicated to Athena in the Acropolis, with the inscription : — 
" Alexander, son of Philip, and the Greeks, except the Lacedae- 
monians, out of the spoil of the foreigners inhabiting Asia." 

The moral effect of the battle of the Granicus was enormous. 
Not only was the first army of Persia overthrown, with the loss of 
many of her chief nobles, but two of those nobles had been killed 
by the victor with his own hand. The whole satrapy of Phrygia 
at once submitted to Alexander, and Sardis, with its impregnable 
citadel, surrendered at his approach. As master of the capital of 
Croesus, Alexander proclaimed freedom to the Lydians. He then 
marched upon Ephesus, where Amyntas, a Macedonian exile, had 
found refuge. Amyntas and the garrison of Greek mercenaries 
escaped by sea, and Alexander entered the city unopposed. It is 
interesting to find a despot restoring the democratic government, 
which a recent revolution had subverted ; but the oligarchical party, 
besides being probably friends to Sparta, had overthrown the statue 
of Philip in the temple of Artemis. While several of his officers 
were despatched to receive the submission of the other cities of 
Ionia, Alexander marched upon Miletus, to which place his fleet 
proceeded at the same time under Meaner. The Persian governor of 
this great maritime city had offered to surrender, immediately after 
the battle of tho Granicus, but his intentions were now quite altered 
by the approach of the Persian fleet of 400 Cyprian and Phoenician 
ships, with Memnon on board. An edict was already on its way 
from Susa, appointing this captain to the chief conduct of the war ; 
and meanwhile the fleet and the garrison of Miletus chose Memnon 
•for their commander. But it was too late. The Persian fleet 
found their access to Miletus barred by the Macedonian admiral, 
who had taken his station three days before with his 160 ships 
at the island of Lade in the mouth of the harbour, to which 
Alexander had also sent across 4,000 soldiers ; and they retired 
to the roadstead of Mycale. Wisely refusing to risk a battle 
against the more numerous fleet and better trained seamen of the 
enemy, Alexander pressed the siege by land with his powerfid 
engines, breached the walls, and stormed the city with great 
slaughter. One body of 300 Greek mercenaries, who had taken 
refuge on a rock at the harbour's mouth, were admitted to a capit- 
tdation, and received into the Macedonian army. 

Memnon made his last and most desperate stand at Halicar- 


nassus, to which, place the Persian fleet retired. The princes of the 
house of Hecatomnus were now divided among themselves.* After 
the death of Artemisia, Idrieus had reigned with Ada, his sister and 
wife; but, on the death of Idrieus, Ada had been expelled by Pixo- 
darus, the surviving brother, who warmly espoused the Persian 
cause. Ada, who still reigned over the rest of Caria, with Alinda for 
her capital, welcomed the approach of Alexander, addressed him as 
her adopted son, and made over to him her kingdom. The city had 
been fortified with works of immense strength by Memnon, whose 
fleet now shut out the Macedonians from approach by sea ; while 
within, it was defended by the desperate courage of Ephialtes, one 
of the two generals who had been banished iBrom Athens on the 
demand of Alexander. The Macedonian siege-train was now put 
to a severe but successful trial. The besieged opposed to them 
inventions like those of the defenders of Plat8ea,f and made two 
gallant sallies, in the second of which Ephialtes fell. Memnon 
now withdrew the garrison and stores and many of the inhabitants, 
and fired the town, which Alexander, marching in, saved with 
difiiculty. He restored it to Ada, with the whole of Caria, as a 
tributary principality, and left Ptolemy the son of Lagus, with 
3000 men, to blockade the two citadels, which were still held by 
the Persians. He then drew off his forces, partly to Tralles, and 
partly to his head-quarters at Sardis. 

By these conquests of the sea-ports, Alexander had effected the 
great strategic object of shutting out the Persian fleet from the 
western coast of Asia Minor. The winter of B.C. 334 — 333 was 
occupied with operations on the southern coast. The terror of his 
name proved stronger than the barrier of Mount Taurus, and all 
Lycia submitted; the town of Marmareis alone emulating the 
ancient obstinacy of Xanthus.:j: The very elements seemed to con- 
spire with the conqueror, as he advanced to Perga in Pamphylia by 
the coast-road round the foot of Mount Climax. The south wind 
had blo^vn for some time, covering this road with the sea ; but, 
on Alexander's approach, the wind changed suddenly to the north, 
though even then the men waded through with water up to their 
waists. Meanwhile, the main body marched over the mountains, 
practicable roads being made by an advanced guard of light 
Thracian troops. The cities on the Pamphylian coast were soon 
subdued ; and Alexander returned into Phrygia through the wild 
mountain tribes of Pisidia, taking several of their fastnesses. 
AiTiving at Celaense, the capital of Southern Phrygia, at the 

* See Chap. xv. p. 9, f See Vol. I., p. 501. X Ibid. p. 278. 


sources of the Marsyas and the Mseander, with its royal paradise 
or park, mentioned by Xenophon, he found its citadel, which 
stood on a precipitous rock, garrisoned by 1000 Carians and 100 
Greek mercenaries, who promised to surrender the fortress if it 
was not relieved within sixty days. Here he left Antigonus, with 
1500 men, appointing him satrap of Phrygia ; while he pursued his 
march northwards to Gordium, on the river Sangarius, the ancient 
capital of the kings of Phrygia (February or March b.c. 333). 

The founders of that dynasty, Gordius and his son Midas, were 
said to have been Phrygian peasants. Designated by an oracle to 
the royal dignity, they had ridden into their new capitol in a rude 
waggon, which had ever since been preserved as a sacred relic in 
the citadel of Gordium. The yoke was fastened to the pole by the 
complicated mass of cordage, which has become proverbial under 
the name of " the Gordian Knot /" and an oracle had declared 
that the empire of Asia awaited him who should untie it. Amidst 
the eager expectation both of Asiatics and Macedonians, Alexander 
ascended to the citadel, and cut the knot with the sword which 
was destined to fulfil the prophecy. 

The means of making good the omen had been provided by his 
forethought, and he was joined at Gordium by the part of his army 
that had wintered at Sardis, under Parmenio, reinforced by new 
levies from Macedonia and Greece. Here also envoys came to 
him from Athens, to pray for the release of the Athenian prisoners 
taken at the Granicus ; but Alexander refused to loosen his hold 
upon the fears of allies so doubtful. In fact, his tenure of Greece 
seemed to be endangered by the proceedings of the Persian fleet, 
under the able command of Memuon, who was proceeding to 
execute his plan of carrying the war to the opposite shores of the 
^gsean. He had taken Chios and the greater part of Lesbos, and 
had laid siege to Mytilene, when he fell sick and died. The city 
surrendered to Phamabazus, whose immediate breach of the terms 
of capitulation proved his unfitness to conciliate the Greeks. 
Already several of the Cyclades had sent in their adhesion to 
Memnon ; Eubcea was looking for the Persian fleet as the instru- 
ment of liberation ; and the Lacedaemonians were preparing 
to rise. But the death of Memnon was the loss of the only leader 
capable of heading a combined movement ; as he alone, of all the 
brave and able Greeks in the service of Darius, had the perfect 
experience of Orientals, which he had acquired in his satrapy, and 
he alone possessed that influence with Darius, which might have 
induced him to persevere in Memnon's plan for the campaign. 


Great as was the loss of Asia Minor, it left the Persian king with 
a better defensive position than before. First, there was the chain 
of Taurus, over which Alexander must cross into Cihcia ; next, the 
two narrow passes around the head of the Gulf of Issus, between 
Mount Amanus and the sea, — the " Gates of Amanus " on the 
west, and the " Gates of Cilicia and Syria" on the east, — and, 
lastly, the " S^Tian Gates " over the chain of Amanus itself. 
Nor was Darius left without good advice, which he treated with 
the infatuation of a man doomed to ruin. Among the Greeks 
who had fled to him was the Athenian general Charidemus, 
who enjoyed a large share of his confidence. On hearing of the 
death of Memnon, Darius resolved to risk all upon his own 
military ability and the vast resources of his empire. An army, 
such as had not been assembled since the time of Xerxes, was 
collected in the plain of Babylon, consisting of 400,000, or, 
as some say, 600,000 infantry, 100,000 cavalry, and 20,000 or 
30,000 Greek mercenaries. The review of these forces inflamed 
Darius with the sense of a power equal to the best days of the 
monarchy, and the eager applause of the courtiers encouraged 
his belief. He looked to Charidemus for a confirmation of his 
hopes ; but the Athenian replied with a boldness such as the 
Spartan Demaratus had used of old to Xerxes, pointing out the 
inefficiency of these Asiatic hordes, and advising the king to enlist 
an increased body of Greek mercenaries, whom he himself offered 
to lead. Enraged at the slight upon his mighty forces, Darius 
was easily persuaded by the courtiers to regard the proposal as an 
act of treason. With his own hand he delivered the too faithful 
counsellor to the executioners ; and Charidemus was led away, 
exclaiming, " My avenger will soon be upon you." 

The prediction was already in the course of being accomplished. 
Alexander left Gordium in the latter part of May, and advanced 
through Paphlagonia and Cappadocia, which submitted to him, 
though they were not effectually subdued. As before, in the 
expedition of the Younger Cyrus, the unaccountable negligence of 
the Persians, or rather their infatuated reliance on the vast army 
behind, lefb open the high road from Cappadocia into Cilicia, 
through the Cilician Gates, a pass over the chain of Taurus, 
quite impracticable for an army in the face of any serious oppo- 

At Tarsus, which he entered without needing to strike a blow, 
Alexander's course was nearly cut short by a fever, which he was 
thought to have contracted by bathing in the chilly waters of the 


snow-fed Cydnus. All his physicians were helpless with fear of 
the disease, and of their own responsibility for its issue. One 
only, an Acamanian named Philip, dared to prescribe for the 
king. The anxiety of Parmenio prompted him to send Alexander 
a letter, denouncing Philip as employed by Darius to poison him. 
Alexander placed the letter under his pillow, and awaited the 
arrival of the physician. Then, taking the potion from Philip's 
hand, he drank it off without a word, at the same time handing 
him Parmenio's letter, and watching his countenance as he read 
it. The physician's whole manner confirmed his protestations of 
innocence, which the king's recovery established, and a delay for 
some time at Tarsus completed his restoration to health. 

While Alexander himself undertook the reduction of the 
Cilician towns and of the mountaineers of Taurus, he sent forward 
Parmenio to seize the pass on the eastern side of the Gulf of 
Issus, which was called the " Gates of Cilicia and Syria," as 
being the proper boundary between the two countries. The 
Persian guard fled after a slight resistance, and Alexander soon 
afterwards resumed his onward march from Tarsus. At Mallus, 
a town on the western headland of the Gulf of Issus, he received 
the news that Darius was at Sochi, in Syria, two days' march 
fi'om the chief pass over Mount Am anus. JSTotwithstanding that 
the Persian army occupied a vast plain, most favourable for its 
immense numbers, and especially for its vastly superior cavalry, 
Alexander would not check the ardour of his followers to be led 
at once to battle, and he advanced round the Gulf of Issus, 
through both the great passes, to Myriandrus, a town on the 
southern side of the " Gates of Cilicia and Syria." 

Meanwhile an important change had been made in the plans of 
Darius. On abandoning the defensive policy of Memnon, he had 
adopted the next best course, of choosing his own field of battle. 
But like Xerxes, he made all his arrangements, not as for a cam- 
paign to be fought out, but for an assured triumph, to be signal- 
ized with all possible splendour. He was accompanied by his 
mother, his wife, and all his harem, his children, his courtiers, 
and all the paraphernalia of luxury and splendour. In the enor- 
mous baggage-train, no less than 600 mules and 300 camels were 
laden with gold and silver. This treasure was left in the rear at 
Damascus, where it fell into the hands of Alexander after the 
battle. Meanwhile the passes of the Tam'us and the Amanus 
were left, as we have seen, virtually open, that the Macedonian 
might advance to the field chosen for his destruction. But the 

B.C. 333.] BATTLE OF ISSUS. 55 

eagerness of Darius for a decisive battle could not brook the delay 
of Alexander in Cilicia ; and, once more rejecting tbe counsel of 
his Greek advisers, he resolved to meet him in the defiles so 
mifavourable to his own army. The Persians crossed the Amanus 
by the northernmost of its two passes, which brought them down 
into the plain of Issus, north of the " Cilician and Syrian Gates." 
It was fortunate for Alexander that this movement was not exe- 
cuted before his advance, in which case the detachment of Par- 
menio at the Gates would have been cut off. As it was, Darius 
obtained possession of Issus, with the Macedonian sick and 
wounded, who were partly put to death and partly mutilated, to 
gratify the cruelty of the Persian nobles. 

It was while Alexander was detained for a day at Myriandros 
by a storm, that he received the news that Darius was in his rear ; 
and, like Napoleon at Marengo, he faced round to meet the enemy 
thus interposed between him and his own country. He seized the 
gates dm-ing the night, and advanced at daybreak, deploying his 
narrow column as the ground opened. The Persian army was 
posted on the right bank of the river Pinarus, south of Issus, 
across which Darius had thrown 30,000 infantry and 20,000 
cavalry ; but this advanced guard was withdrawn as Alexander 
approached. Another detachment of 20,000 foot, posted in the 
mountains in order to outflank the Macedonian right, were easily 
di'iven back by the Agrianian javelin-men, and were kept in check 
dm'ing the battle by 300 heavy cavahy. 

The right bank of the Pinarus, naturally steep in some places 
and scarped away in others, was lined by the best troops of 
Darius, who filled the whole width of the pass, from the mountains 
to the sea, while his mingled hordes were massed behind upon the 
plain, and took no part in the battle — the best use, perhaps, to 
which they could have been put. To meet the shock of the Mace- 
donian phalanx, Darius relied upon his 30,000 Greek mercenaries, 
supported on each flank by an equal number of chosen Persian 
troops, armed after the same manner. These 90,000 hoplites 
formed one unbroken line, behind the centre of which Darius took 
his station in a magnificent chariot, surrounded by his chief 
nobles and his body-guard of Immortals. Alexander divided the 
phalanx, as at the Granicus, into two bodies, each supported by 
its auxiliary force of hypaspists, cavaby, and light-armed troops. 
He extended his front to equal that of the enemy ; and, himself 
taking command of the right, he entrusted the left to Parmenio, 
with orders to keep near the sea, lest he should be outflanked. 


His own impetuous cliarge across the river at once routed the left 
wing of Asiatic hoplites, whose flight uncovered the position of 
the Persian king. There are different accounts of the degree of 
the danger to which the person of Darius was exposed ;* but, at 
all events, he turned his chariot and fled with all speed to the 
hills. There he mounted a swift horse, and rode off, casting 
awaj his bow and shield and royal mantle as encumbrances to 
his flight. 

His desertion of the field, followed of course by the whole 
centre, decided the battle which still hung in doubt upon the 
other wing. The advance of Parmenio, on the left centre, had 
been checked by the Greek mercenaries, with the loss of 120 
men of the front ranks of the phalanx ; while the Thessalian 
cavalry, stationed on the extreme left, were vigorously attacked 
by the Persian heavy horse. But, as Alexander pressed on his 
victory from the other flank, and the news of the king's flight was 
spread, the contest was abandoned. Some at least of the Greek 
mercenaries escaped in good order to the hills, but the Persian 
cavalry suffered severely in their flight. The routed combatants 
were thrown back upon the vast masses behind them, who were 
already in disorderly retreat, while Alexander pressed on the 
pursuit with all his might. Pent up in the narrow pass, and in 
the defiles of Amanus, which enclosed them in the rear, the 
masses of the Persians trampled each other to death, and, in one 
place, a ravine was bridged over by theii* dead bodies. Their 
total loss is reckoned at 10,000 horse, and 100,000 foot ; that of 
the Macedonians at 150 horse and 300 foot. Amongst the 
enormous spoil of the camp, which was given up to the soldiers, 
there were no less than 3000 talents in money. Among the 
captives were Sisygambis, the mother of Darius, and Statira, his 
wife, who were taken into the royal tent. It was on returning 
from the pursuit, which he had continued till the dusk of the 
November day, that Alexander entered the pavilion of Darius, 
and saw for the fii'st time all the rich and effeminate appliances 
of oriental luxury — the bath steaming with odours, the banquet 

* Arrian says nothing of the fierce combat round the chariot of Darius, described 
by Diodorus and Curtius, in which one authority (quoted by Plutarch) even speaks 
of Alexander's being wounded in the thigh by the hand of Darius. A fine mosaic at 
Pompeii — whether or not copied from an ancient picture, we cannot tell — represents 
such a conflict. Alexander charging at the head of his horsemen, has just run 
through one of the body-guard of Darius with his spear : Darius is leaning over the 
side of his chariot, with his right arm stretched out towards his fallen follower, while 
lus charioteer is urging to flight the horses, which seem entangled in the press. 


spread to regale Darius after Ms expected victory. But from an 
inner compartment were heard the voices of the women wailing 
for the supposed death of Darius. The fancy of painters has 
delighted in the imaginary interview of the royal ladies with their 
magnanimous captor ; but, in truth, Alexander was too respect- 
fully observant of oriental customs to insult them by his pres- 
ence. He sent them assurances that Darius was still alive, that 
he regarded him as no personal enemy, but as a rival for the pos- 
session of empire, and that they should be treated with the 
honour due to their royal dignity. 

The battle of Issus not only decided the fate of Asia by the 
destruction of the army of Darius, and the proof it gave of the 
helplessness of the Asiatic hosts against Macedonian discipline 
and Alexander's consummate generalship, but its moral effect 
was equally decisive in Greece. The eighteen months of Alex- 
ander's absence had given his enemies time to encourage one 
another with the hope that some great disaster might befall him. 
When he passed the Taurus, and especially when he fell ill at 
Tarsus, Athens was agitated with such rumours as had been rife 
twenty years before, during Philip's absence in Thrace; and 
Demosthenes is said to have gone about, showing with exultation 
letters which declared that Alexander was pinned up in Cilicia. 
Meanwhile the successes of the Persian fleet in the ^gsean 
seemed to afford a basis for action, and Agis visited Pharnabazus, 
the successor of Memnon, with a view of persuading him to land 
a force in Peloponnesus. But the fleet had already been fatally 
weakened by the withdrawal of the Greek mercenaries serving on 
board, to reinforce the army of Darius ; and, on receiving news 
of the battle of Issus, Pharnabazus hastened back to Asia in fear 
that Chios would revolt. Though Agis was too resolute to 
renounce his projects, Sparta was once more isolated, and the 
other states of Greece, assembled in full congress at Corinth 
during the Isthmian festival, sent Alexander a gold crown as 
their offering of congratulation. 

It was Alexander's plan to secure full possession of the Medi- 
terranean coast, and by the conquest of Phoenicia to deprive Darius 
of his fleet, before plunging into the heart of the empire. He 
first marched southwards through Coele-Syria to Damascus, which 
was surrendered by the treachery of the satrap in command. 
Besides the vast treasure which had been left there by Darius, 
there were a host of persons of distinction, wives, daughters, and 
other members of nearly aU the chief families of Persia, who 


had accompanied tlie marcli from Me£opotamia. There were also 
many Greek exiles: those from Athens and Thebes were dis- 
missed with honour, and those from Sparta were detained hut for 
a short time. Among the former was Iphicrates (a son of the 
celebrated Athenian general), whom Alexander's kindness induced 
to remain with him ; and, when he died of sickness not long after, 
his ashes were sent home to his family at Athens, 

Advancing into PhcEnicia, Alexander received the ready sub- 
mission of the great maritime cities of Aradus, Byblus, and Sidon, 
whose naval contingents were at this very time serving with the 
Persian fleet. At Marathus, on the mainland opposite the island 
of Aradus. he received a letter from Darius, who had recrossed the 
Euphrates to Babylon, where he was collecting a second army 
from the contingents of the more distant provinces, which had 
not had. time to reach him when he began his former march. 
The letter asked for the restitution of his family, and proposed 
friendship and alliance on equal terms, which Alexander haughtily 
rejected. '•' Come to me yourself" — ^he said, " as to the master of 
all Asia, and lord of all that belongs to you. Tou shall receive 
back your wife and children, and whatever else you wish. Or, if 
you intend to contest the kiugdom with me, stand and fight for 
it, and do not run away. I shall march forward against you, 
wherever you may be." 

But before he could perform this boast, which indicates how 
folly his mind was set on the one object of unbounded conquest, 
he had to finish his present enterprise, and his course was 
delayed by an unexpected obstacle. As he approached the great 
city of Tyre, the queen of the Phoenician coast, he was met by a 
deputation, headed by the son of the reigniug prince, bringing the 
present of a golden crown and supplies for his army, and ofiering 
to submit to him, like the sister cities. But they reserved a point 
of vital importance, on which Alexander was equally determined 
to insist. Since Xebuchadnezzar's siege, the city had been trans- 
ferred from its ancient position on the mainland, now called Old 
Tyre (Palaetyrusj to the more secure site of a little island ofiT the 
coast. The entrance of a foreign force into this Kew City had 
been forbidden with extreme jealousy ; and the Persians had never 
been so admitted during the whole period of their domination. 
Alexanders was not the spirit to brook such a restraint, and he 
proposed to offer sacrifices at the altar of Melcarth (the Tyrian 
Hercules) within the city. The Tyrians tried to evade compliance 
by referring him to a more venerable fihrine of the same deity in 

B.C. 833-2.] SIEGE OF TTEE. 59 

Old Tyre. Upon this he cast aside the pretext, and began the 
siege; — the first example of his throwing away a snbstantial 
advantage for a mere point of pride ; for the alliance of Tvre 
would at once have made him master of the Phoenician shores 
and fleet. 

The Tyrians, trusting in their impregnable position, prepared 
for a determined resistancCj and sent off many of their wives and 
children to Carthage. The island was divided from the main- 
land by a channel about half a mile wide, shallow near the coast, 
but deep where it touched the island, which rose up sheer out of 
the water in rocky precipices, crowned by the solid walls of the 
city, to the height of 150 feet. There were plentiful springs of 
fresh water in the island ; and several ships of war in the harbour, 
though the greater part of the navy was absent, serving as a part 
of the Persian fleet, under the prince Azemilchus himself. Much 
now depended on the movements of that fleet. On hearing of the 
events in Phoenicia, the contingents of Aradus and Sidon had 
returned home, while Azemilchus hastened to the defence of 
Tyre. The Cyprians in the fleet remained for a time undecided 
which part to take. 

Meanwhile, Alexander had begun his operations against Tyre, 
by constructing a mole from the mainland. Two towers were raised 
at its extremity, from which missiles were hurled against the 
Tyrian ships that perpetually harassed the work. But the besieged, 
choosing a windy day, let loose some fire ships, which burnt the 
towers, while an attack of their whole navy destroyed the greater 
part of the mole. The work was commenced anew on a larger 
scale; but Alexander saw that success depended on his being 
master of the sea ; and, while he collected ships from other 
quarters, he went in person to Sidon, and obtained the eighty 
Phoenician ships which had lately returned from the ^ggean. To 
these 120 more were added by the voluntary submission of the 
Cyprians. It is needless to recount the noble but vain resistance 
of the besieged to this overwhelming force. The mole was 
pushed up to the city wall, which was breached by the mighty 
artillery of Alexander. He himself was among the first to mount 
the wall, while his fleet forced its way into the harbour. The 
townsmen made a desperate resistance in the streets, no quarter 
was given except to those who took sanctuary in the temple of 
Melcarth, among whom was the prince Azemilchus, and to a few 
for whom the Sidonians interceded. Two thousand prisoners^ 
who from various causes escaped the general massacre, were 


hanged along the sea-shore. The women and children, to the 
number of 30,000, were sold as slaves ; and Alexander offered his 
promised sacrifice to Melcarth amidst the ruins of the devoted city, 
which never again rose to greatness. Its capture took place in 
July, B.C. 332, after a siege of seven months. 

Shortly before the fall of Tyre, Alexander received fresh over- 
tures from Darius, who ordered the cession of all Asia west of the 
Euphrates, with a payment of 10,000 talents as the ransom of his 
wife and mother, and proposed to ratify the alliance by the mar- 
riage of his daughter to Alexander. Such terms might well have 
tempted a man who aimed at any advantage short of universal 
empire, and Parmenio ventured to say that he would accept them, 
if he were Alexander. " So would I " — said Alexander — " if I 
were Parmenio; but since I am Alexander, I must give another 
answer : " and he sent that answer in the same arrogant lan- 
guage as before ; its sum being this : — " All you have is mine 

Still pursuing his great object of becoming master of all the 
points by which the East communicated with the Grecian seas, 
Alexander pursued his march southward towards Egypt. The 
resistance of the frontier town of Gaza, a place of enoi-mous 
strength, delayed him for two months, and entailed on its defenders 
the same penalties that had been inflicted on the Tyrians ; while 
Alexander showed himself able to improve upon the most savage 
act of his heroic model. Achilles had dragged the corpse of 
Hector round the walls of Troy, at the tail of his chariot ; Alex- 
ander perpetrated the like cruel indignity on the living body of the 
eunuch Batis, the governor of Gaza. Before passing into Egypt, 
we are told by Quintus Curtius that Alexander visited some of the 
cities which still refused to submit to him ; and among these, if 
we may believe a tradition preserved by Josephus, was Jeru- 
salem itself. Critics still hesitate between the acceptance and 
rejection of the picturesque story, which at all events demands a 

Our last view of the restored Jews left them in the peaceful 
enjoyment of municipal liberty and of the religous constitution 
restored by Ezra and Nehemiah, under their own High Priests.* 
They repaid the protection of Persia with a devoted loyalty, which 
prompted them to refuse the demand of submission, made by 
Alexander during the siege of Tyre. He marched to chastise 
them after the fall of Gaza, and the beautiful city had already 

* VoLI. pp. 281-2, 


risen before his view on the hill of Zion, when he found the 
High Priest Jaddua waiting his approach at the watch-station 
of Sapha, clad in his robes of gold and purple, and followed by a 
train of priests and citizens in pure white. The conqueror bowed 
in reverence to the Holy ISTame upon the high-priest's frontlet ; 
and, being asked by Parmenio the reason of his conduct, said that 
in a dream, at Dium, he had seen the God of Jaddua, who 
encouraged him to pass over into Asia, and promised him success. 
Then entering Jerusalem, he offered sacrifice in the temple, heard 
the prophecy of Daniel about himself, and granted certain privi- 
leges to all the Jews throughout his empire. The desire to honour 
a shrine so celebrated as the Jewish temple is quite in accordance 
with the conduct of Alexander at Ilium and Ephesus, Gordium 
and Tyre. The privileges he is said to have confeiTed upon the 
Jews were enjoyed under his successors, and some minor matters 
have been adduced in confirmation of the story. On the other 
hand, the classical \sTiters are entirely silent on the subject, and 
the details of Josephus involve grave historical inconsistencies. It 
seems not an unreasonable conjectm*e, that the story is an embel- 
lishment of some incident that occurred when the High Priest 
came to Gaza to tender the submission of the Jews. But we 
must not dismiss it without a remark on the vast influence which 
the conquests of Alexander had in bringing the Jews into closer 
relations with the rest of Asia, and so preparing them to fulfil their 
ultimate destiny as Christians. 

It was about this time that Alexander was rejoined by his fleet, 
which had cleared the -^gsean of the Persian navy. All the 
conquests of Memnon among the islands had been regained. At 
Chios, Phamabazus had been captured, with the whole fleet that 
had remained with him after the departure of the Phoenicians and 
Cyprians; and, last of all, Chares had surrendered Mytilene. 
There remained no fear that rebellion would be excited among the 
insular Greeks by the gold of Persia, and her communication with 
the continent was rendered diflicult. The fleet met Alexander at 
Pelusium, the eastern city of the Delta, and was despatched to 
sail up the Nile as far as Memphis. Alexander was welcomed in 
Egypt as a deliverer from the hated yoke of Persia, and the satrap 
Mazaces was in no condition, even had he desired, to make any 
efiectual resistance. The conqueror's habitual respect for the 
religion of the nations he passed through, enchanced as it was by 
the venerable antiquity of Egypt, won the hearts of priests as well 
as people. Here, at length, he found himself in a land which his 


Greek instructors had described with minute curiosity as the most 
ancient seat of religion and civilization ; as the source from which 
Greece had derived her arts, her laws, her gods themselves. Here, 
then, was the sacred spot where the descendant of Hercules and 
Achilles might set at rest the question, which had been suggested 
ever since his birth, and which his superhuman fortune seemed 
again to raise, whether he was not, in a still more literal sense, the 
Bon of Jove. With this view, he undertook a pilgrimage to the 
ancient oracle, where, in the midst of the Libyan sands, the god 
was worshipped under his most ancient name of Ammon.* The 
special favour of the god was shown in the incidents which facili- 
tated Alexander's five days' march from the Mediterranean shore, 
which he followed westward fi'om the Delta, across the desert to 
the sacred Oasis ; nor were the hopes thus excited doomed to dis- 
appointment. He was well satisfied with the oracle, which the 
priests introduced him to consult in private ; though he kept the 
response as a holy secret, the god was believed to have saluted hini 
as a son ; and his effigy on his coins bears the horn which was the 
sacred symbol of Ammon impersonated as a ram. The visit forms 
a marked epoch in Alexander's career, from which we may date 
the development of that superhuman arrogance, which already 
began to alienate his chief followers, who saw the fair fame of 
Philip sacrificed to the vanity of his son. 

The most enduring memorial of Alexander's four or five months' 
stay in Egypt was the city to which he gave his name, and which 
still forms, though fallen far from its ancient greatness, the port 
that links the eastern to the western world. It was on descending 
the western branch of the Nile from Memphis, to visit the isle of 
Pharos, of which Homer had sung as lying a day's sail from the 
river ^gyptas (the Nile), that the intuitive genius of Alexander 
saw the fitness of the spot for a great commercial city. The site was 
chosen on the narrow tongue of land between the lake Mareotis and 
the sea ; and this was joined to the isle of Pharos by a causeway 
called the Heptastadium {Seven Stadia)^ on each side of which 
was a harbour, protected by the island. Fifty years later, in the 
reign of Ptolemy II. Philadelphus, the great lighthouse was erected, 
which caused the name of Pharos to be applied to all such struc- 
tures. The ports were connected with each other by two channels 
through the Heptastadium, and by another with the lake Mareotis, 

* The history of Alexander having come down to us through the Greek ■writers, 
custom has prescribed the use of this form of the name, instead of the Amun or 
Amen of the Egyptian mythology. 


which communicated with the Nile by a nmnber of canals. The city- 
was laid out in two chief streets, exceeding 100 feet wide, the one 
extending more than three miles east and west from the " royal 
quarter " to the Necropolis ; the other more than a mile north and 
south from the sea to the lake. The best architects were employed 
in planning and embellishing the city ; and the inhabitants of 
Canopus were transported in mass to people it. 

Having spent the month of January, e.g. 331, at Memphis, 
and received reinforcements from Macedonia and Greece, Alexander 
returned into Phoenicia. On his way, he took signal vengeance 
on the Samaritans, who had burnt alive the Macedonian governor. 
He remained three or four months in Phoenicia, arranging the 
affairs of Greece and Western Asia. During this time his new 
subjects began to witness the workings of Hellenism among them 
in the splendid festivals and dramatic contests, which were cele- 
brated after the model of the Attic Dionysia, the princes of Cyprus 
taking the lead. Meanwhile, all preparations were made for ad- 
vancing into the heart of Asia, and a force was sent on to make 
bridges over the Euphrates at Thapsacus. The Persian satrap 
Mazaeus, who watched the passage with 3000 men, retired on 
the approach of the main army, and Alexander soon found him- 
self beyond the " bordering flood," which Darius had vainly 
reposed as the limit of his empire. 

At Thapsacus, " the fatal ford," as it has been called from 
the many adventurers who have crossed it, on the way either to 
empire or destruction, the direct route to Babylon lay down the 
left bank of the Euphrates. But Xenophon had recorded the 
difficulties of the march through the sandy desert which here 
reaches across the Euphrates into Mesopotamia ; and the direction 
in which Mazseus retreated confirmed the report of some of the 
prisoners, that Darius was posted on the Upper Tigris. Alexander 
therefore struck across the plain of Upper Mesopotamia, having 
the foot-hills of Mount Masius on his left, and reached the Tigris 
at a point some distance above Nineveh. No Persian army was 
there, as he had expected, to contest his passage ; but the river 
was only forded with great difficulty. It was not without mis- 
givings that the followers of Alexander found themselves thus led 
on at the will of an all-daring youth, to tempt fortune in the 
unknown regions beyond the two mighty rivers. Profound dis- 
couragement was caused by an eclipse of the moon, which occurred 
while they were resting from the labours of the passage (Septem- 
ber 20th, B.C. 331) ; but Alexander's astrologers, Grecian and 


Egyptian, declared *liat it was the Greek god Helios asserting his 
supremacy over the Persian goddess Selene.* 

"While proceeding four days' march through the district of 
Aturia, between the Tigris and Great Zab, Alexander fell in with 
an advanced guard of Persian cavalry ; and he learnt from them 
that Darius was near at hand. It was from a mixture of fear and 
policy that the Persian king had chosen so distant a region of the 
empire for his final stand. The defeat of Issus had lost him the 
confidence of his followers, and all thoughts of a bold policy were 
paralysed so long as his family were hostages in Alexander's hands. 
The only hope left was, that by surrendering the western part of 
his empii'e, with its rich provinces, he might be allowed to retain 
the old possessions of Media and Persis. But he learned from 
Alexander's replies, that this lesser half must be fought for as 
desperately as if it were the whole. Yast forces were, still available 
from the more distant provinces, as far as Arabia on the south, the 
Indus on the east, and the Oxus and Jaxartes on the north. In 
his new anny, which was said to be more numerous than that 
overthrown at Issus, we read of new descriptions of force, fifteen 
Indian elephants, and 200 scythed chariots, armed with a sharp 
point projecting in front of the pole, three sword blades stretching 
out on each side of the yoke, and scythes extending from the ends 
of the axle. The cavalry are reckoned at 40,000, the infantry at 
no less than 1,000,000. Among the latter, Darius had still a 
body of 50,000 Greek mercenaries. His own soldiers were armed 
with new weapons and shields, more nearly resembling those of 
the Macedonians. 

This time he had chosen a field of battle admirable suited for 
the movements of a vast anny, and for the courses of the chariots. 
The head-quarters were at Akbela (Erbil), a caravan-station near 
the foot hiUs of Zagros, about twenty miles east of the Great 
Zab river, and about thirty miles from the battle field to which 
it has given its name. The latter was an undulating plain some 
twelve miles west of the Great Zab, marked by the village or 
post-station of Gaugamela (the CameVs House^ now Karmelii) 
near the little river Burnadus. It was to draw the enemy to this 
spot, that the fords of the Tigris had been left open, and as 
soon as Alexander reached that river, Darius moved forward 
across the Great Zab, the passage of which occupied five days, 
leaving his baggage and treasure at Arbela. He formed a main 

* So far as the interpretation meant anything more than flattery, the Moon-goddess 
(Selen6) must have signified the Babylonian Beltis. 

B.C. 331.] BATTLE OF AEBELA. 65 

line of his most warlike forces, in the centre of which he took his 
own station, with the native Persian guards and other select 
troops, including the Greek mercenaries. In front of this line 
the cavalry and chariots were posted in three divisions. The 
multitude of less trustworthy troops were placed in large masses 
in the rear. 

It was at the close of his fourth day's march from the Tigris, 
that Alexander found himself within seven miles of the Persian 
host. He entrenched his camp, and allowed his army four days' 
rest. Then, with only his effective troops, he made a night march 
towards the enemy, and the passage over a low ridge brought him 
in sight of them at daybreak. ByParmenio's advice, he halted for 
one day, to reconnoitre the ground, and formed a new entrenched 
camp, the distance between the armies being about three miles. 
The open field of battle presented a problem quite difi'erent from 
those of the Granicus and Issus ; and Alexander showed his consum- 
mate generalship by adapting his tactics to the altered circum- 
stances. Preserving his usual array of two wings, he di'ew up 
his army in two lines, the phalanx, hypaspists, and heavy cavalry 
in the front, and the light cavalry, the archers, and the Agrianian 
javelin-men in the rear. As the whole Macedonian army num- 
bered but 40,000 foot and 7000 horse, it was essential to guard 
against attempts to outflank and surround it in the rear. With 
the same object, Alexander, who took his station on the extreme 
right, opposite to the Persian left centre, led his division into 
action with an oblique movement towards his right. The Bactrians, 
who formed the Persian left, endeavoured to outflank his advancing 
cavalry, and checked him for a s£ort time, but being supported by 
his light horse, he broke their line where it was weakened by this 
lateral movement. Meanwhile, a charge of the scythed chariots 
had entirely failed, and Alexander wheeled round against the 
Persian centre, hoping to decide the battle, as at Issus, by an 
attack on the person of Darius. Once more, as at the Granicus, the 
short pike of the Macedonian Companions proved victorious in the 
melee, and by this time the phalanx was pressing on the Persian 
front. The native Persians and the Greek mercenaries made a 
fierce resistance around the king, but as Darius, from his lofty 
chariot, saw Alexander pressing on towards him, nearer and yet 
nearer, his courage again failed him as at Issus, and he gave the 
example of flight to his whole centre. Hotly pursued by Alexander, 
he is said to have owed his escape solely to the clouds of dust which 
wrapt the field in a darkness like that of the Homeric battles. 

VOL. II. — 5 


Meanwhile the left had been engaged in a more doubtfal con- 
test, and Parmenio was so hard pressed by the Persian cavalry 
under Mazaeus, that he was fain to seek aid from Alexander. Hia 
messengers stopped the two left divisions of the phalanx, and so 
separated them from the other fom-, which were pressing on after 
Alexander in the pursuit. A body of Indian and Persian cavalry 
dashed right through the gap thus made to the Macedonian camp, 
and began to plunder the baggage ; but the second line, recover- 
ing from their first surprise, repulsed them with great loss ; while 
the cavalry of Mazasus, having by this time learned the rout of 
Darius, were in full flight before the Thessalian horsemen. The 
fugitives were met face to face by Alexander, who was returning 
across the field to the succor of Parmenio. The conflict that 
ensued was the fiercest of the whole day, no hope being left to 
the Persians but to cut their way through the enemy. Sixty of 
the Companions were killed, and Alexander himself was in great 
peril. At length he formed a junction with Parmenio, and the 
whole army pressed forward in pursuit. Here again, as at Issus, 
the defeated combatants were rolled back upon the inert masses 
that only served to block up the j)lain behind them, and the 
mingled multitude, driven one over another, wave upon wave 
perished as much by their o^vn weight as by the sword and lance 
of the pursuers. The slaughter was most dreadful at the passage 
of the Great Zab, where hosts of prisoners were taken, and here 
the Macedonians halted for awhile from sheer exhaustion, But 
it was Alexander's eager desire to secure the person of Darius ; 
so at midnight he pressed on towards Arbela, which he entered 
/ the next day, and found the bow, shield, and chariot of the king, 
with all his stores and treasures. Parmenio meanwhile took 
possession of the Persian camp, and the camels and elephants 
became, with the baggage, the prize of the conquerors. The 
numbere of the slain and prisoners were enormous. Arrian com- 
putes the former at 300,000; Curtius, whose estimate is the 
lowest, at 40,000. The Macedonian loss is variously stated at 
from 100 to 500, but the number of their wounded was unusually 
large. The battle of Arbela, which was fought on or about 
October 1st, b.c. 331, completely annihilated the military force of 
Persia, and left the empire at the disposal of Alexander. 

He forthwith marched to Babylon, where he was met outside 
the gates by the great mass of the population, headed by the 
Chaldsean priests, who had been continually persecuted by the 
devoted worshippers of Auramazda, Their best hopes were 


gratified by tlie respect which, according to his custom, Alexander 
paid to their religion. He sacrificed to Belus, and ordered his 
mined temple to be rebuilt. The treasures of Babylon enabled 
him to make a liberal donative to his soldiers, who were permitted 
to refresh themselves for a month, after their four years' toil, 
while Alexander exercised his sovereign rights by the appointment 
of new satraps. In this act he commenced the policy of treating 
the Orientals no longer as enemies, but subjects. Mazseus, who 
had led the Persian cavalry so gallantly at Arbela, was con- 
firmed in the government of Babylon, but associated with two 
Greeks, a commander of the forces and collector of the revenue, 
the city being of course occupied by a Macedonian garrison. 
Mithrines, who had betrayed the citadel of Sardis, was rewarded 
with the satrapy of Armenia ; that of Syria and Phoenicia was 
given to Menes, who was entrusted with 3000 talents for Antipater. 
About the middle of November, Alexander marched to Susa, one 
of the other capitals of the empire, which had surrendered to 
Philoxenus immediately after the battle of Arbela, with a treasure 
reckoned at eleven and a half millions sterling. Here he received 
a reinforcement of 15,000 men from Europe, and remodelled his 
whole army. The government of Susa, like that of Babylon, was 
committed to the satrap who had surrendered the city, in conjunc- 
tion with two Macedonian officers. He next marched into Persia 
Proper, inflicting by the way a signal chastisement on the IJxii, a 
tribe of mountain robbers, who had dared to demand of him the 
tribute they had been accustomed to exact when the Persian king 
passed from one capital to another. 

Persepolis lies in a plain environed by mountains, the road 
through which was by an impregnable pass, called the Susian or 
Persian Gates. Here the conqueror was checked by Ariobarzanes, 
the satrap of Persis. After a first attack had failed, he was hesi- 
tating whether he could bring himself to turn aside and approach 
Persepolis by a more circuitous route, when a Lycian captive, 
employed as a shepherd on the hills, made known to him a moun- 
tain path, by which, after a difficult passage over the snow-clad 
heights, he descended upon the flank of Ariobarzanes, while Cra- 
terus renewed the attack in front. The Persians were cut to pieces, 
or perished among the rocks, Ariobarzanes being one of the few 
who escaped. His final efibrt to save Persepolis, or at least a 
portion of its treasures, was frustrated by the commandant of the 
citadel ; and he himself was cut to pieces, with his band of devoted 
followers, by the rapid advance of Alexander and his cavalry. 


Alexander was now master botli of Pei^epolis and the more 
ancient capital of Pasargadse. At the latter he visited tlie tomb 
of Cyrus, whose empire he had overrun, and whose further con- 
quests he was about to follow ; at the former he beheld a spectacle 
which roused other feelings than ambition. In this remote capital 
of the empire, he found 800 Greek captives, mutilated according 
to the barbarous custom of the Persians, of arms or legs, ears or 
eyes. Too ashamed of their condition to accept the ofier of resto- 
ration to their homes, they were settled on lands granted them by 
Alexander's bounty. It remained to deal with the city of Perse- 
polis. Too distant to be made a royal residence, it was sure to 
become the stronghold of the ancient national spirit, which had its 
home in the mountains of Persia. [N^or did it seem impolitic to 
Alexander, amidst his prevailing clemency and toleration, to strike 
one blow which might temfy the disaffected. So after the royal 
treasure had been placed on 5000 camels and an immense number 
of mules, for conveyance to Susa and Ecbatana, Alexander gave 
up the city to pillage and conflagration. Some say that he set fire 
to the royal palace with his own hand. The male population were 
massacred, and the women sold as slaves. While the main body of 
the army rested for a month at the ruined city, Alexander, with a 
moveable column, secured the submission of all Persis. The 
return of spring, while Alexander was still at Persepolis, com- 
pleted four full years since his departure from Macedonia (3Iarch, 
B.C. 334, to March, b.c. 330). During that period, he had effected 
the conquest of all the countries which have hitherto been promi- 
nent in history, and which became afterwards the region of Hel- 
lenic life in Asia. The remaining seven years of his life were occu- 
pied with wonderful adventures rather than political achievements ; 
and he never revisited the countries west of the Euphrates. 

His first object was the pureuit of Darius, who had fled to Ecba- 
tana, where he waited to see whether any chance yet remained to 
him, or whether he must continue his flight into the wild regions of 
Central Asia. He was driven to the latter course by the approach 
of Alexander, who, after taking possession of Ecbatana, pressed 
on tlirough Media with such speed, that in eleven days he accom- 
plished the march of 300 miles to Phagse, 50 miles from the pass 
through Mount Elburz, called the " Caspian Gates." Learning 
that Darius had already passed the Gates, Alexander gave his 
followers five days' rest, and then followed to the same pass. 
The fugitive king was guided in his flight by Bessus, the satrap 
of Bactria, who had held a high command at the battle of Arbela, 

B.C. 330.] MUEDER OF DAEIUS. 69 

witli the satraps of the other distant provinces in the north and east 
of the empire. Their scheme was, if possible, to carry off Darius 
into Bactria, and there to make a stand in his name, but really 
for their own advantage ; but, if Alexander should overtake them 
on the way, they were prepared to make their peace with him by 
giving up Darius. So they bound him with chains of gold, and 
carried him on in a covered chariot, so closely guarded by the 
Bactrian troops, that the small body of Greek mercenaries, who still 
remained faithful to the king, could attempt nothing in his behalf. 
Alexander heard this news when he was a day's journey beyond 
the Caspian Gates, and pressed forward eastward with redoubled 
speed at the head of a picked body of cavalry and infantry, with 
only two days' provisions. Twice he reached the site of the Persian 
camp, only to find that the fugitives were still, before him. At 
length a shorter route was pointed out to him, and a night march 
of five and forty miles through the waterless desert of Hyrcania 
brought him to the encampment of the satraps on the fourth 
morning. Taken completely by sm*prise, Bessus tried to persuade 
Darius to continue his flight on a swift horse. But the fallen king 
preferred to cast himself on the clemency of Alexander. Incensed 
at his refusal, and well knowing that the possession of his person 
would complete Alexander's title to the obedience of the provinces, 
the satraps transfixed the king with their javelins, and fled with 
all speed. A Macedonian soldier, coming up with the covered 
chariot, found the dying and deserted monarch just able to utter a 
few words of thanks to Alexander for his kind treatment of his 
captive family. He was already dead when the victor himself reached 
the chariot ; and Alexander cast his own cloak over the body of 
his rival. The death of Darius was a grievous disappointment to 
the conqueror on every ground both of pride and policy ; but it 
would be unjust not to believe that a more generous sentiment 
prevailed alike over the desire to exhibit him as a prisoner and the 
advantage to be gained from the possession of his person. He 
granted Darius a royal funeral in the sepulchres of the Persian 

Alexander reunited his army at Hecatompylos, in Parthia, and 
granted them a period of repose, before continuing the pursuit of 
Bessus, and the subjugation of the northern and eastern provinces. 
He then rapidly subdued Parthia and Hyrcania, with the wild 
tribes of Mount Elhurz, which divides the two provinces. Thence 
he marched eastward into Aria, the satrap of which province, an 
ally of Bessus, fled before him ; and here he founded the city of 


Alexandria Ariorum, the modem Herat. Reserving Baclria for 
his last attack, he turned southwards into Drangiana {Seistan)^ 
on the banks of the river Erjmandrus {Helmund). His stay at 
the capital, Prophthasia (probably Peshawarun) was rendered but 
too memorable by the fate of Philotas and his father Parmenio. 
The tme cause of this tragedy must be sought in the changed 
relations of Alexander to his nearest friends, consequent upon his 
uninterrupted tide of success. Parmenio was the chief of Philip's 
old officers. TTe have seen him not only acting ordinarily as 
second !n command, but freely giving advice which was not always 
palatable to Alexander. Philotas shared his father's views, and, 
as commander of the Companion cavalry, stood next to him with 
Alexander. For some time, and especially since the visit to the 
oracle of A mm on, both had shown feelings of disgust at their 
master's increasing arrogance, while themselves betraying a some- 
what exalted sense of their own share in his success. The incau- 
tious speeches of Philotas, repeated by a treacherous mistress, 
had been used by his rival Craterus to inflame the jealousy of 
Alexander ; and he was now put to death on a charge of treason, 
after he had been tortui'ed into a confession. His father, Par- 
menio, who was residing at Ecbatana in the high office of governor 
of Media, was despatched by the daggers of emissaries, who justi- 
fied their act to the indignant soldiers by producing the orders of 
the king. For the details we must refer to the biogi'aphers of 
Alexander. It is enough to say that the evidence was utterly 
inconclusive, and even had it been otherwise, the case pre-emi- 
nently called for Alexander's boasted magnanimity. But, in 
truth, his character had by this time undergone a complete 
change ; or rather, its barbarian elements had been irresistibly 
developed by unbroken prosperity. The habits of wild revelry 
which had degraded Philip in the eyes of the Greeks, now began 
to gain the mastery over Alexander, and his recent marches had 
been alternated with drunken debauches. It is but fair to make 
some allowance for the physical effect of his enormous toils, com- 
bined with the cares of the general and the sovereign, on a consti- 
tution predisposed to cerebral excitement. Henceforth his whole 
career is checquered with examples of the speedy retribution which 
overtakes the possessor of power too great for man. Meanwhile a 
most painful impression was produced upon his followers, whose 
unbounded confidence and admiration were replaced in no small 
degree by disgust and fear. The vacancy caused by the death of 
Parmenio was filled up by the division of the Companion cavalry 


between Clitus and Heplisestion, who in some degree succeeded 
to the place which Parmenio had held in Alexander's confidence 
(October, b.c. 330). 

Having spent the winter in completing the conquest of the 
provinces which occupy the north-eastern part of the table-land of 
Iran, in the angle between the two branches of Mount Paropa- 
misus (the Mountains of Soleiman^ and the Hindoo Koosh)* he 
crossed the latter mightv chain, which reaches to the height of 
15,000 or 18,000 feet, while the passes were still covered with 
snow. His soldiers, whose imagination had been fed with the 
traditions of the Greek poets respecting Mount Caucasus, to 
pass which they deemed the highest achievement of foreign 
adventure, flattered their chief by transferring to this chain the 
name of the " Indian Caucasus," by which it has ever since been 
known. He was now in Bactria, which Bessus had found himself 
too weak to defend, and had crossed the Oxus {Amoo or Jihoun\ 
into Sogdiana, the last border province towards the Massagetae 
and Scythia. Alexander pressed on through the sandy deserts, 
amidst great sufierings, to the most difficult river he had yet 
crossed, and transported his army on their tent-skins, filled with 
air and straw.f Bessus, deserted by his fellow-conspii*ators, and 
even by his own followers, was overtaken by a light division under 
Ptolemy, and placed at the road-side, naked and in chains, to 
await the approach of Alexander's chariot. On arriving at the 
spot, Alexander upbraided him with his treason to Darius, and 
ordered him to be scourged and sent in chains to Bactria. On 
Alexander's return to Bactria, Bessus was again brought before 
him, condemned to the Persian punishment of the mutilation of 
his nose and ears, and sent to Ecbatana, that the Medes might 
take the final revenge upon him for his treacherous murder of 
their king. If these refined cruelties may be explained by a 
politic desire on Alexander's part to clear himself of all suspicion 
with regard to the death of Darius, they none the less bear wit- 
ness to that growth of Oriental vices in his character, of which he 
gave another proof by the massacre of the Greek colony of the 

* These provinces were Drangiana, Arachosia, and the Paropamisadse, or people of 
Mount Paropamisus, corresponding to the modem Scistan, AffgJumistan, and the 
western part of Cabul. During these marches, he founded two more cities, Alex- 
andria in Arachosia (probably Candahar), and Alexandria ad Caucasum, at the foot 
of the Hindoo Koosh, about 50 miles north-west of Cabul. He seems to have crossed 
the Hindoo Koosh by the pass of Bamian, the only one of its four passes practicable 
for an army in the winter. 

f The same mode of transport is seen on the old Assyrian sculptures. 


Brancliidie,* in Sogxiiana, though under the specious pretext of the 
aveno^r of Apollo. Having taken Maracanda {Sa}ii<irc<i}^d)^ the 
capital of Sogdiana, Alexander advanced to the Jaxartes (Sir, or 
Si^ounX the boundarv between the Persian empire and Scvthia. 
On its banks he founded the most distant of the cities that bore 
his name,t near that which marked the limits of the empire of 
CVms (CvTCSchataX who had failed in that attempt to subdue the 
Scvthianss which Alexander proposed soon to renew. Meanwhile 
he returned into winter quarters at Zariaspe, the capital of 
Bactria,* where he punished Bessus in the manner already 
described (b.c 329). 

In the following year, Alexander returned to Sogdiana, to put 
down a formidable revolt headed by the late satrap Spitamenes. 
After a successful campaign, in which his army, divided into five 
columns, traversed the whole countn.-, he had returned to Mara- 
canda, Intending to pursue his mareh into Scvthia. he appointed 
his bosom friend, Clitus, who had saved his life at the Granicus, 
to the satrapy of Bactria, and gave a parting banquet on the eve of 
the day fixed for Clitus to set out. The drunken revels, which 
were now common on such occasions, ended in the most tragic of 
all Alexander s bursts of passion. His appetite for adulation had 
grown so insatiable, that he not only permitted flatterers to place 
him above his father, and to insult that fathers memory by lauding 
him as the son of Ammon, who awaited an apotheosis like that 
of Hereules. but himself claimed all the merit of Pliilip's later 
victories. Clitus was one of those who reverenced the late king, 
and had taken deep offence at Alexanders wanton insults to the 
Macedonian soldiers. Wine had loosed the restraints of prudence, 
and he rebuked the flatterers severely. He went further, and boldly 
awarded the palm to the father above the son. since Philip had 
created the foree which alone had enabled Alexander to conquer, — 
the force whose chief leaders, Parmenio and his son, had been put 
to death, and the soldiers scourged with Persian rods. The more 
such language provoked Alexander, the more did Clitus persist in it ; 
till, holding himself forth as the champion of the old Macedonian 
party, he exclaimed, with an air of defiance, " This hand, Ales- 

* Tbese were the deseenduita of tlie BnndudaB, vbo had dozge of the temple of 
ApoDo near IGktns, and somndered its tceasores to Xenes, bj whom they 'were 
lOiMiied to Sogfiana, ootof readiof tfaeTcngeanoeof the Greeks. 

f Hus is called Akgaminm mi JaamrioA, MammUm Eadtaii, or Akumabvehala 
C^ykrAfirf Abaomdrim), and ma probably on tfae site of die modem Khajmi. 

f Al9ooaIkdBa«<n; it b tlie modem JlaOL 


ander, saved your life at tlie Granicus ! Listen to the truth, or 
invite to your suppers none but barbarian slaves ! " Alexander's 
attendants had put his dagger out of his reach ; his chief officers 
clung round him as he rushed at Clitus, whom others tried to 
remove from the room. But the king's fury only provoked Clitus 
to more bitter taunts ; while Alexander exclaimed that his officers 
were acting to him the part of Bessus to Darius. At length, over- 
powering their resistance, he transfixed Clitus with a pike which 
he snatched from an attendant, the blow being accompanied with 
the taunt, " Go now to Philip and Panuenio." The sight of his 
friend weltering in his blood produced an instant and complete 
revulsion of feeling. Overwhelmed with remorse, he lay upon his 
bed for three days and nights, refusing all food, and repeatedly 
calling upon Clitus, whose name he coupled with that of his nurse 
Lanice, as the second saviour of his life. The lover of freedom, 
who looks beyond the exploits which blind men to the littleness of 
her enemies, could hardly desire to see the humiliating lesson read 
more plainly, unless it were in the abject flattery and superstition 
in which the illustrious drunkard and murderer at length found 
solace. While the prophets discovered at once a cause and excuse for 
his deed in the anger of Dionysus, and the philosophers told Alex- 
ander that his regret was a too generous sentiment, inasmuch as 
his will was the only law, the army passed a vote that Clitus had 
been justly slain, and their leader obtained the praise of magna- 
nimity by refusing to allow his murdered friend to lie unburied. 

But the best remedy for his grief was in renewed action, for 
which the enemy gave him ample opportunity. Assisted by the 
Scythians, the Sogdians carried on a desultory warfare for a whole 
year, during which Alexander penetrated their deserts and moun- 
tains, and subdued many of their fortresses, till Spitamenes was 
slain by his Scythian allies, and his head sent to Alexander. His 
celebrated storming of the impregnable " Sogdian rock," gave him 
among the captives, Roxana, the daughter of a Bactrian chief; 
and Alexander was so struck with her charms, that he made her 
his first Asiatic wife. The marriage, which was celebrated at 
Bactra, was made the occasion for another step towards Oriental 
despotism. Alexander exacted the ceremony of prostration even 
from his Greek followers, by the mouth of the philosopher Anax- 
archus. The philosopher Callisthenes, of Olynthus, the nephew of 
Aristotle, dared to resist the proposal, which Alexander withdrew. 
But he soon found means to revenge himself on Callisthenes, who 
was tortured and hanged as an accomplice in a conspiracy which 


was about tliis time detected among the roval pages. Xor did Alex- 
ander abstain from hinting that Aristotle shared in his nephew's 
dislojaltr. and threatening that he should share his fate. " Fortu- 
nately for Aristotle, he was not at Bactra, but at Athens. That 
he could have had any concern in the conspiracy of the pages was 
impossible. In this savage outburst of menace against his absent 
preceptor. Alexander discloses the real state of feeling wliich 
prompted him to the destmction of Callisthenes ; hatred towards 
that spirit of citizenship and free speech, which Callisthenes not 
only cherished, in common with Aristotle and most other literary 
Greeks, but had courageously manifested in his protest against the 
motion for worshipping a mortal." "^ 

With the return of summer, Alexander left Bactra, to recross 
the Paropamisus and subdue the still unknown lands of LsniA. 
We will not interrupt the progress of our narrative, to discuss 
the deeply interesting chapter of history which is opened by the 
mention of that name. There are indeed questions of the highest 
importance affecting the relations of India to the language, 
religion, and civilization of the ancient world ; but these questions 
are almost entirely speculative. In ancient history^ India appears 
but once or twice in the background, as a region stimulating a 
curiosity which there was little knowledge to gratify ; exciting, 
only to disappoint, the ambition of conquerors, such as Semira- 
mis, Darius, and Alexander ; and chiefly known, after his tinie, 
by the rich products with which it rewarded the commercial 
enterprise that had its centre at Alexandria. The India, with 
which Alexander made his brief acquaintance of a year or two, 
was only the region so called in the proper but narrower sense, 
the Land of the Indus and its tributary streams, in other words, 
Scinde and the Punjah, or country of the Five Rivers. This, too, 
was the region occupied by the Indian branch of the great Aryan 
family of mankind, the original home of the Sanscrit language 
and the Hindoo religion ; and the names of persons and places 
mentioned by the historians of Alexander can generally be 
explained by Sanscrit etymologies. 

The details of Alexanders march through Cabul are full of 
interest for the geographer, but are only remarkable for the 
historian on account of the facility with which he subdued the 
mountaineers who have proved so troublesome in our time. The 
campaign, like his former passage of the Paropamisus, was made 
in the depth of winter. Following the course of the river Coj>hen 

* Grote, History of Greece, toL lii. pp. 301, 302. 


{CabuT), Lie crossed the Indus about AUock, having first allowed 
his soldiers a rest of thirty days. The prince of the Doah^ or 
country between the Indus and the Hydaspes {Jcloum), — ^whom 
the Greeks called Taxiles, Irom his capital Taxila, but whose real 
name was Mophis, or Omphis — came out to meet Alexander with 
valuable presents, among which were twenty-five war elephants, 
and brought a reinforcement of 5000 men. Porus,f the king of 
the next Doah, showed a very difierent spirit. He appeared ^vith 
a large force, including many elephants, to dispute the passage of 
the Hydaspes. The skilful generalship of Alexander gained a 
passage some miles higher up, and a battle was fought on the left 
bank, in which Porus, conspicuous by his gigantic stature, and 
mounted on a huge elephant, fought with the greatest courage to 
the last, having seen two of his sons fall. After repeated efforts 
to rally his defeated troops, he was disabled by wounds and thirst 
from making good his retreat ; and he was brought as a prisoner 
before Alexander. Struck by his noble form and undaunted 
bearing, Alexander asked him how he desired to be treated. 
" Like a king " — was the reply, uttered like a king, and received 
by Alexander like a king. As a tributary to the conqueror, he 
received an accession to his dominions. The town of Xic«a was 
built in commemoration of the victory, which was celebrated with 
games and sacrifices on the banks of the Hydaspes. The rest of 
the Punjab afforded an easy conquest. The swollen stream of the 
Acesines {Chenab) was crossed on inflated skins ; and the quieter 
current of the Hydraotes {JRavee) was more easily passed. Here 
alone a serious resistance was made by the Cathieans and other 
independent tribes, whose capital, Sangala (probably Lahore), was 
stormed, 17,000 of the inhabitants being put to the sword, and 
70,000 taken prisoners. The other towns of the Doah submitted, 
and the whole territory was added to the dominions of Porus. 

Alexander had now reached the farthest limit of his conquests. 
At the Hyphasis {SutleJ), the last of the Five Eivers, his ambi- 
tion received a new impulse from the intelligence, that a march of 
eleven days would bring him to the great river Ganges and the 
powerful nation of the GandaridiTe. But on his ordering the pre- 
parations for passing the river, the long-suppressed feeling of the 
soldiers, that they had done enough, and marched far enough into 
unknown regions, broke out into open mutiny. In vain did Alex- 

* This term signifies the space between each two rivers of the Punjab, 
f This name, or rather title, seems to be only a corruption of the Sanscrit P<xw- 
rtisha, a hero. 


milder harangne bis officers : ihey woe as resolnte as the men. 
Hie shot bimsdlf n^ in Ids trait for two days, mdnlgmg Ms moody 
gtie^ not that tdioe weste no legions left to oonqner, bnt because 
be was at length made to feel the curb which d^>0idence on fellow 
men imposes on the strongest wHL He leeovered liim&elf so far 
as to enbmit with a good grace. As if still persisting in his design, 
he €jiSeKd the preliminary £a£ii£ees ; bat the omens proved nnfa- 
Yomaible, and he yielded to tlie will of the gods what was forced 
on him by his iCbllowras. 

Hie divine wandeiexs,Hesx:;iileg and Dionysns, were said to have 
eroeted piDais to mazk the faidieA fimits of their progress. 
Alesand^', who boeeted to have advanced further than either, 
imitated the exam^e by building twelve immense altars on the 
bankiB i^tlie Hyphaas, aod edebiating games and sacrifices to the 
twelve great god& He fhoi retraced his steps to the Hjdaspes, 
his donUle march across the Punjab having been the more 
wonderfid. as it was performed during the snmmer rains. Here 
he was met by a remfoTCiesaeast which had marched from Enrope, 
sodi was the tranquillity of Ms em^re. He now formed the plan ~ 
of fidlowing tiie eourse of the Indus to its month, and exjjloring 
die ah<xes of the Ocean to the Euphrates. A fleet of 2000 
ve^ds was prepared by the beginning of ^November, and Alex- 
ander eaoba:dbjed with his admiral ^NTeardias, while the main body 
<tf the army marched in two divisions along the l^nks, nnder 
Hepha^tion and Craiera&. Thus they went down ibe Hydaspes 
to the Ace^n^ and onwards past the mouths of the Hydraotes 
and the Hyphaes, to the junction of Ihe united rivers with the 
Bidas. It was, however, no peaeefod progress of a conqneror. 
AViYandpr again and again disembarked to £ght the tribes that 
lived ahmg the banhs. Hie encounter widi the Malli was 
lemailcable &r the daring courage with whidi be scaled the wall 
itf their citaddl, and leaped down ahme amongst the enemy, whom 
he laept at bay till aM arrived, tiiough severely wonnded in the 
breast.* Having Jfounded a new city at the conflnence of the 
Af^fiBinflM and Indi^ to eimnnand the navigation of the rivers, 
A1i»T!a]iwl^^ ocMitinued his voyage down the Indufi, the mouth of 
which wasreafdiedafii^ about ninemonths &om the commencement 
of the Toyage (Angust, bxi 336). The soldiers were astonished at 
the Ocean tid^ unknown to them in ihe Mediterranean. 

Alexando'nowprvyjeetied the great voyage which Xearchns snc- 

Be seeBe of Abb esploit was near die twwfarnnr of the Hjdraotes and Aoe- 
L IheiawmigflMi^itby ni— ir tobe. 

B.C. 32.5.] THE VOYAGE OF ^^:APwCH^S. W 

cessfallv performed, from the month of the Indus to the Persian 
Gulf and the Tigris. To estimate this achievement, we mnst 
remember that the Greek knowledge of the geography of these 
distant regions had advanced little bevond the fables of Homer 
and the mythical wanderings of lo, as described by -^schylus. 
The theory that the earth was a flat circle, snrronnded by the river 
Ocean, had a tendency to bring the onter parts of the earth into an 
imaginary proximity. Thns, when Alexander's soldiers reached the 
Jaxartes, they thonght they were on the banks of the Tanais, and 
when they saw crocodiles in the Indns, they supposed they had 
reached the jSTile. The better information which Alexander doubt- 
less possessed, from the surveys of the empire made since the time 
of Darius Hystaspis, only reduces his project within the limits of 
a sagacious, instead of a foolhardy daring ; and the achievement of 
iN'earchus was the true opening of the Indian Ocean to the com- 
merce which has ever since enriched the world. The difficulty of 
the voyage was enhanced by the barrenness of the shores along 
which it lay, for navigation was still dependent on communication 
with the land ; but he brought the fleet safely to the port of 
Harmozia [Ormuz), where he landed to report progress to Alex- 
ander in Carmania, and then returned to complete the voyage to 
the Euphrates. He finally rejoined Alexander on the Pasitigris, 
near Susa, about February, b.c, 325, having set sail from the 
Indus at the preceding autumnal equinox. He was rewarded with 
a crown of gold. 

Alexander in the meantime accomplished his celebrated march 
through the desert of Gedrosia. How he shared the terrible 
sufierings of fatigue and thirst with the meanest of his soldiers, 
is illustrated by the weU-known anecdote, which shows Alexander 
practising a generous self-denial, only paralleled by that of Sir 
Philip Sidney. 

"These are the precious balsam drops 
Which woeM wars distiL" 

The true hero is far more conspicuous in the general pouring out 
the helmet full of water on the sand rather than enjoy it alone, 
than in the ensuing progress of the pretended son of Ammon 
through Carmania, in emulation of the Indian Dionysus, a charac- 
ter which was sustained by an incessant drunken revel for seven 
days, after the fatigues and dangers of the desert. Crossing the 
mountains to Persepolis, and thence advancing to Susa, Alexan- 
der employed himself at both capitals in punishing the abuses of 
which the satraps had been guilty during his long absence. Some 


were executed, and all were compelled to dismiss their mercenary 

Enthroned in the chief capital of the Persian kings, after far 
surpassing the exploits of Cyrus, Alexander assumed the full state 
of the Great King. He adopted the Persian costume, and the full 
ceremonial of the Persian court. Amidst splendid festivities, he 
celebrated his nuptials with Statira, the daughter of Darius, and 
with Parysatis, the daughter of Ochus. At the same time Hephses- 
tion and others of his chief officers, to the number of about 100, 
espoused the noblest of the Persian ladies ; and no less than 
10,000 of the common soldiers took Asiatic wives. However 
politic these intermarriages might be, as a means of conciliating 
the rival nations, they brought the disgust of the Macedonian 
veterans to its climax. A mutiny broke out at a review held at 
Opis on the Tigris ; and, when Alexander offered to send home the 
wounded aud disabled, the soldiers cried out that he had better 
dismiss them all, and make his future conquests by the help of his 
father, Ammon. At this taunt Alexander leaped down among 
the crowd, followed by a few of his guards, and seized thirteen of 
the ringleaders, who were led off to instant execution. Then, 
haranguing the soldiers, who were cowed by the example, he 
reproached them Avith ingratitude to their king, who, having borne 
the chief part in all their toils and dangers, had given them the 
substantial rewards of success, reserving for himself only the 
honours and cares of the tiara. In fine, he ordered them to take 
their discharge ; and he shut himself up in the palace, com- 
mitting its guard to Persian troops. Soon the veterans came 
flocking round the palace, throwing down their arms, and praying 
for forgiveness. A solemn reconciliation cancelled the resent- 
ment which Alexander had never ceased to feel since the mutiny 
on the Hyphasis ; and 10,000 of the most worn veterans were 
sent home under Craterus, who was appointed to succeed Anti- 
pater as viceroy of Macedonia. 

la the summer Alexander visited Ecbatana, where his bosom 
friend Hephsestion died of a fever contracted amidst the incessant 
revelries ; and Alexander mourned his loss with an extravagance 
of grief like that of Achilles for Patroclus. A funeral pile was 
ordered to be erected at Babylon for his obsequies, at a cost of 
10,000 talents, and the extermination of the Cosssei, a border 
tribe between Media and Persia, was regarded as an offering to 
his manes. The ungovernable emotion of Alexander at this loss, 
attended as it was with an irritability so extreme that his courtiers 


scarcely dared to approach Mm, seems like the presage of his own 
approaching fate — " the beginning of the end." 

But he had first to quaff the full cup of triumph. Early in 
B.C. 324, he commenced his progress to Babylon, where, '•' as in the 
last scene of some well-ordered drama, all the results and tokens 
of his great achievements seemed to be collected to do honour to 
his final exit." Even before he reached the capital, he was met by 
embassies, not only from all parts of his own dominions, but from 
the distant nations of the west ; — from Carthage, which had heard 
the fame of his exploits through the Tyrian frigitives ; — from Sicily 
and Sardinia ; — from the Etruscans and other nations of Italy ; — 
and even, according to a probable tradition, from Rome itself, 
then stragghng to hold its ground in Italy, amidst the fierce 
conflict of the Second Samnite "War. There were envoys from 
Ethiopia, Scythia, Iberia, and Gaul ; and, amidst this concourse 
of the nations, which seemed for the first time to hail a mortal as 
master of all the earth, the ambassadors of the Grecian states ap- 
proached him with the sacred garlands which owned him as the 
divine son of Amnion. Still a drop of bitter was infused into the 
cup by the warning of the Chaldsean soothsayers, that it would be 
dangerous for him to enter the city. The warning seems to have 
made a deep impression on his mind, though pride and policy alike 
forbade him to turn his back on the capital of his empire and the 
destined centre of his new projects. 

Of these projects, the first was the formation of a navy powerful 
enough to explore, command, and conquer the shores of the Indian 
Ocean. Orders had been despatched to Phoenicia and Cyprus, to 
have ships carried in pieces to Thapsacus on the Euphrates. There 
they were put together, and floated down to Babylon, where vast 
docks were already commenced. The capital was destined to be 
also the chief naval arsenal of the empire ; while, for purposes of 
commerce, an emporium was to be founded on the Persian Gulf 
on a vaster scale than Sidon, Tyre, or Carthage. Finding the 
greater part of the fleet already collected at Babylon, Alexander 
concerted with his admiral Nearchus an expedition to circumnav- 
igate and subdue Arabia. A squadron started on the adventure 
under Hiero, a pilot of Soli in Cyprus, who, however, abandoned the 
apparently interminable voyage. In the prosecution of these plans, 
Alexander went in person down the canal Pallacopas, to explore 
the Chaldsean marshes, and to restore the works of the old Chal- 
dsean kings for the regulation of the course of the Euphrates ; * 

* See Vol. I., p. 191. 


and lie chose a spot on wliieli he ordered a new city to be founded. 
It was probably in this voyage that Alexander contracted the germs 
of the fever which so soon proved fatal. 

He returned to Babylon to complete the preparations for his ex- 
pedition to Arabia, which he designed to be only a first step towards 
the conquest of the remaining nations of the world. Some new 
levies from the western shores of Asia were incorporated with his 
old soldiers into a sort of Pei'BO-]y!acedonian j^halanx, which he ex- 
pected to be peculiarly efficient. All the preparations were made for 
the expedition ; and at the same time the funeral pile was ready, 
which he had long since ordered to be constructed for Hephses- 
tion. He resolved to combine the sacrifices inaugm'ating his 
enterprise with the obsequies of his friend. A splendid banquet 
was prepared for the whole araiy, at which the conqueror himself 
presided. After partaking freely in the universal revelry, he 
supped with his favourite, Medius, and spent the night in a 
carouse. A second night was passed in the same manner ; and 
Alexander, who had gone to bed in the house of Medius, was 
unable to rise in the morning. For nine days he tried to shake 
off the fever, conversing with his generals about his schemes, 
playing at dice with lledius, and rising each day to bathe and 
offer sacrifice. At last, he was unable to make this effort ; and 
by the time his generals had been summoned round his bed he 
had become speechless. His last act was to take off his signet- 
ring, and deliver it to Perdiccas ; but it was reported that, just 
before his utterance failed him, he was asked to whom he be- 
queathed his kingdom, and that he replied, " To the strongest ! " 
The soldiers, hearing of his approaching end, surrounded the 
palace, and being admitted without their arms, they passed before 
his bed in mournful and respectful silence, while their dying leader 
made them signs of recognition. His generals slept in the temple 
of Serapis, hoping to learn by a dream whether he might be healed 
if he were transported thither ; but the oracle bade him be left 
where he was; and he expired in the afternoon of June 28, b.c. 
323, at the age of thirty-two years and eight months, and wanting 
four months of completing the thirteenth year of his reign. 

Historians have delighted in speculating on what would have 
been the result, had Alexander lived to carry out his new designs, 
and to come into conflict with the nations of the "West. Consider- 
ing the vast resources of his empire, his prudent skill in turning 
them to the best account, and his profound knowledge of the art 
of war, we may be quite sure that he would have accomphshed 


deeds surpassing any that lie had jet achieved. But his success 
■would only have tended to overwhelm the rising civilization of the 
"West beneath the backward wave of that Orientalism which had 
already been once repelled from the shores of Greece. The world 
was reserved for another destiny, to be moulded by Eoman energy, 
Koman law, and the stern Eoman sense of duty. !M!eanwhile, 
the conquests of Alexander had a prodigious, and upon the whole 
a most beneficial effect, in bringing the East within the sphere of 
Hellenic civilization. It may be true that the spread of that 
civilization was due rather to his successors than to himself, and 
that his one moving principle was the insatiable lust of conquest. 
But perhaps the reaction fi'om blind admiration of his exploits 
has led to a too sweeping denial of those civil qualities which 
time was not granted him to develope. Even amidst the rapid 
course of conquest, the pupil of Aristotle, the founder of Alex- 
andria, and the projector of the voyage of ]!^earchus, -was not 
altoo-ether indifferent to the cause of science : and the o-enius 
which organized his army, and so soon reduced his vast empire to 
order, had equal capacities for civil administration, though it may 
be doubted whether his impatient temper could have rivalled the 
works of Csesar or jS'apoleon. The cities that he founded in the 
distant regions of Asia may have been designed chiefly as the out- 
posts of a great military empire ; but they became, in fact, the 
germs of powerful states, which were influenced by Greek civiliza- 
tion from their very origin, and commercial centres by which 
communication was kept up between the nations of the West and 
the distant realms of India, and even China. The increased 
facilities of intercourse — an object at which Alexander was ever 
aiming — formed a result of his conquests only second in import- 
ance to the difiusion of the Greek language. His personal char- 
acter has been sufficiently delineated in recounting the events of 
his marvellous career. 

TOL. II. — 6 





B.C. 823 TO B.C. 280. 

"Tbeiefore die he gmt waxed reiy great; and when be was Etrong, the great hom 
was broken; and for it came up fixir notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. . . 
. . . Now tfaat being ImAeo, whereas four Etood np for it, fonr kingdoms shall stand 
vp oat oi the DStioD, but not in his power." — Dardd, chap. Tiii^ 8, 22. 




The nntimely death of Alexander left Ids empire Trithout an 
heir, and found the generals unprepared with any plans. Alex- 
ander had left an iUegitimate son, Hercules, by Bar^ine, the 
widow of the Ehodian Memnon ; but no pretensions were put 
forward on hk behalf till some years later. The child of the 
queen Eoxana was not bom till after Alexander's death. There 
only remained the half-brother of Alexander, Philip Aridasus, 
the son of Philip by a Thessalian woman, a youth of weak intel- 
lect, and therefore a convenient puppet in the hands of the 
generals, tiQ time should decide the real heir by the test of 
Alexander's dying words, — "To the strongest." The conflict 
almost broke out at the council which was held the day after 
Alexander's death, under the presidency of Perdiccas, to whom 
the dying monarch had given his signet-ring ; but an arrange- 
ment was at last made on the follovring basis. Philip III. Aei- 
D.EU5 was recognized as the successor to the empire, a share in the 
inheritance being reserved to the unborn child of Poxana, should 
it prove to be a son. Peediccas took the command of the Com- 
pamon cavalry, which was vacant by the death of Hephsestion, 
with the regency on behalf of Philip. The eastern part of the 
CTipire was reserved for his immediate government. The prov- 


inces west of tlie Euphrates were divided among tlie otlier 
generals, nominally as satrapies, but virtually as independent 
governments. Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, who, besides his great 
talents, had the claim of consanguinity with the royal family, 
received Egypt and Syria. Eumenes, a Greek of Cardia in the 
Thracian Chersonese, who had been Alexander's secretary, and 
had of late shared his confidence with Hephaestion, was appointed 
to the government of Cappadocia and Paphlagonia, provinces not 
yet thoroughly subdued. Phrygia Proper, with Lycia and 
Pamphylia, were assigned to Antigonus, the ablest soldier of 
them all ; Hellespontine or the Lesser Phrygia, to Leonnatus,* 
and Thrace to Lysemachus, an officer of Sicilian extraction and of 
low birth, but of the most undaunted courage, and celebrated as 
a lion-killer. Macedonia itself, and Greece, were to be divided 
between the late regent, Aktipatee, and Crateeus, who had 
been appointed by Alexander to supersede him, but had not yet 
started. Olympias, the mother of Alexander, was left out of the 
arrangement, but hers was not a temper to rest quiet. It was for- 
tunate for the generals that Philip Aridceus was at Babylon ; for 
the possession of his person might have transferred the decision 
to Antipater, who was at first disposed to claim the regency of the 
whole empire by virtue of his viceroyalty of Macedonia. Put 
sufiicient occupation was soon found both for him and Craterus 
in the common danger of a Greek war ; and Olympias was so 
afraid of her old enemy Antipater, that she fled for the present 
into Epirus. One general remains to be mentioned, Seleucus, 
the son of Mcator, who, though omitted in the original distri- 
bution, raised himself at last to the possession of the seat of empire, 
and of all the Eastern provinces. 

These, and others yet to be mentioned, are the men known in 
history as the Diadochi, that is, Successms of Alexander the Great. 
Their wars occupied a space of two-and-twenty years, before the 
final division of the empire in consequence of the decisive battle 
of Ipsus (b.c. 323 — 301). In untwining the intricate thread of 
these events, it is desirable to confine our attention as much as 
possible to Asia, reserving for a separate view the last struggles 
amidst which Greek liberty set, but not without the hope of a 
temporary revival. First, however, it is necessary to mention the 
obsequies of Alexander, which were conducted with the grandest 
barbaric pomp. The body was placed on a funeral car, of such 
size and so loaded with gold ornaments, that eighty-four mules 

* Leonnatus only just needs to be named, as he was killed in the following year. 


laboured for a whole year in drawing it to Syria, on its •way to 
Alexandria, where the conqueror fitly rested amidst tiie most 
enduring monmnents of his &me, in what afterwards became 
ibe sepulchre of the Ptolemies.* Meanwhile Eoxana gave birth 
to a son, who was named Alexander -.Egns ; after she had got 
rid, by assa^nation, of the rival qneen Statira, and her sister, 
DnrpetiSj the widow of Hephaestion. 

For the present, we feep in the backgronnd the gallant stru^le 
of Greece for liberty, attempted in Tain by Agis, and renewed, 
afto* Alexander's death, by Athois in the *' T^mian War," which 
aided in the Tictory of Antipater, and the proscription and death 
of Demosthenes (b.c. 322). Draing this war, Leonnatns crossed 
OTer into Europe to aid Antipater; but he was defeated and slain 
by the aflied Greeks, and thus one name is already erased from 
the Hst of the Diadochi. Cratems also arrived in Greece in time 
to contribute to the victory of Antipater ; and both had begun 
measures for the subjugation of Greece, when they were recalled 
to Asia to take part in the genoul war which was kindled by the 
ambition of Antipater and the arts of Olympias. 

Perdiecas, poss^sed of thp command of the choicest troops, and 
of the persons of the two nominal sovereigns — Philip Aridaens 
and the in&nt Alexander IV. — ^was not disposed to forego the 
substance of power over the satraps in Asia. He began the con- 
solidation of lus goTerument by aiding Eumenes in the conquest 
of Oappadoda; and the campa^n gained him, besides much mili- 
taiy reputation, the alliance of the most intelligait and prudent of 
the Diadochi, for such was the character of Eumenes. Alanned 
at the growing power of Perdiecas, AntipatCT made him overtures 
for an allianoe, with the offer of the hand of his daughter Xicaea. 
But when Olympias proposed to him a marriage with Cleopatra, 
her daughter by Philip, as tilie price of his aid against Antipater, 
the aged Perdiecas was dazzled with the prospect of uniting 
the whole empire under his own government. Meanwhile, he 
attempted to a^ert his authority as regent by bringing Antigonns 
to trial finr alleged misconduct in his satrapy. But Antigonns £ed 
to Macedonia, carrying to Antipater infonnation of the schemes 
of Perdiecas and Olympias. A league was formed by Antipater 
and Cratems with Antigonus and Ptolemy ; while Perdiecas was 
joined by Eumenes, who, be^des bdng moved by gratitude, had 

' T .y-xi^baigB in the Bntidi Mfwam, fonoetly sqipoeed to be tih&t 

in iA-HHifij bur lOie inaeriptians vptm. it as fliat of ISeetmdbo L 


now the prospect of becoming master of all Asia Minor, by the 
addition of the satrapies of Leonnatus and Antigonus to his own. 
While Eumenes defended himself against the united forces of 
Antisronus and Craterus, Perdiccas attacked Ptolemy, who stood 
on the defensive in an intrenched camp beyond the Xile, near 
Pelusium. The failure of all attempts to cany this position wore 
out the soldiers of Perdiccas, who mutinied and murdered their 
general. Antipater, who was in the camp of Ptolemy, now 
obtained the regency, with the persons of the two tings, whom he 
carried into Europe, with Roxana, the mother of Alexander -Egus, 
and Eurydice, the wife of Philip Aridaeus. After the death of 
Perdiccas, the allied generals met at Triparadisus in Syria, and 
made a new partition of the proyinces. Antipater retained Mace- 
donia and Greece, with the nominal regency of the empire ; 
Ptolemy kept Egypt ; Antigonus receiyed Susiana, in addition to 
his former proyince ; and Seleucus, as satrap of Babylon, suc- 
ceeded to much of the central authority of Perdiccas. Eumenes 
was declared an outlaw by the yote of the Macedonian army 
(B.C. 321). 

It deyolyed upon Antigonus to conduct the war with Eumenes, 
who, though deserted by Alcetas, the brother of Perdiccas, and 
embarrassed by the jealousy of his Macedonian officers, had 
gained a decisiye battle, in which Craterus himself fell, shortly 
before the murder of Perdiccas. Pressed by the superior force of 
Antigonus, he shut himself up with a few followers iu the fortress 
of ISTora in Cappadocia, and held out against a long blockade, till 
he found an opportunity of escaping to the upper provinces (b. c. 
319). Meanwhile, Antipater died in Macedonia, at the age of 
eighty, bequeathing his authority, not to his son Cassander, but 
to the Epirot Polysperchon, who was, like himself, one of Alex- 
ander's oldest generals. Cassander, whose military fame made 
him a formidable enemy, and who had a powerful party among 
the oligarchies which Antipater had established in the Greek 
cities, rose in open rebellion ; and Polysperchon, feeling the need 
of new support, invited Olympias back from Epirus to become 
the guardian of the royal family, who were kept at Pella. Olym- 
pias engaged Eumenes to renew the war in Asia, and the influence 
■which she had always been known to possess with Alexander 
obtained for him the support of the " Argyraspids,'' a body of 
veterans who were living in retirement in Upper Asia. His cause 
was espoused also by the satraps of the eastern provinces, who 
gave up to him the royal treasures in their possession. Thus the 


Tvliole monarcliY, both in Europe and Asia, was involved in a war 
between those who used the name of Alexander's family and those 
who possessed the greater part of his power. Of the course of 
affairs in Europe we shall have presently to speak. Ilad Polys- 
perchon and Olympias been content to abandon Asia, and to call 
over Eumenes to their aid, his vast ability would have consolidated 
their authority in Macedonia and Greece. That ability was vainly 
exerted on behalf of what Eumenes considered the cause of his 
master's family, in a series of campaigns which are among the 
most brilliant of any recorded in ancient history. For two years 
he maintained himself against the united forces of Antigonus, 
Ptolemy, and Seleucus, while beset by treachery in his own camp. 
The seat of the war was first in Cilicia and Phoenicia, afterwards, 
as Eumenes was compelled to give ground, in Susiana, Persis, 
and Media. The struggle ended at last, not by his defeat, but by 
his betrayal by the Argyraspidse, who added to the fickle arro- 
gance of a favoured body of soldiery the cupidity which made 
them accessible to the bribes of Antigonus. Eumenes was 
put to death by the vote of a council of oflicers, in opposition, 
it is said, to the wish of Antigonus himself. He was the most 
honest and humane, the best educated, and in the whole combina- 
tion of qualities, the most able of all the generals of Alexander. 
The best authorities are agreed that he was only prevented from 
distancing all competitors for the empire by the prejudice which 
his Greek origin excited among the Macedonians. He was forty- 
five years old at his death (e.g. 316). 

It was his misfortune, in death as in life, to have fought for a 
cause that was falling of itself. Eor while Polysperchon was 
engaged in Greece in a fierce and doubtful contest with Cassander, 
Eurydice, the wife of Philip Ai'idaeus, formed the plan of casting 
off the regent's yoke. In her husband's name she gathered an 
army in Macedonia, and made an alliance with Cassander. Polys- 
perchon and Olympias marched against her, in league with the 
king of Epirus. Olympias displayed herself at the head of a train 
equipped with Bacchanalian emblems. Her presence won over 
the wavering fidelity of the Macedonians. Eurydice fled with her 
husband to Amphipolis, where both were seized and murdered 
in the most cruel manner by Olympias, who proceeded to put to 
death the family and friends of Antipater. Cassander now 
marched into Macedonia to stay and avenge these barbarities. 
After a siege of some months, Olympias surrendered Pydna, with 
Roxana and the young Alexander, on condition that her own life 


should be spared ; but Cassander broke bis faitb rather than incur 
the danger of letting her live. He imprisoned Eoxana and her 
son at Amphipolis, entirely setting aside the claims of Alexander. 
Polysperchon retired into ^olia, and left Cassander master of 
Macedonia (e.g. 316). 

Antio-onus had not waited for the death of Aridseus and the 
captivity of Alexander to seize the vacant throne. As the prize 
of his victory over Eumenes, he claimed the mastery of all Asia,* 
beino; thus the first to cast off the mask. He had the claim of 
being the oldest of Alexander's generals, and the most skilful in 
the field. He was nothing but a rough soldier, cruel, faithless, 
and avaricious, with a savage manner, made the more sinister by 
the loss of one eye. Yet his blunt straightforward humour gained 
the affection of soldiers as rough as himself. Once, it is said, 
when he overheard two sentinels complaining that he was starving 
them to death, and they must go over to the enemy, he thrust his 
pike at them through the canvas of his tent, bidding them go out 
of his hearing if they wanted to abuse him. His kingdom now 
extended over all Asia Minor and Upper Asia, except the satrapy 
of Babylon, which was held by Seleucus. On his return from 
Upper Asia, Antigonus ordered Seleucus to be ari-ested ; but the 
latter escaped from Babylon, and fled to Ptolemy in Egypt. 

A league was now formed against Antigonus by Ptolemy and 
Seleucus with Cassander and Lysimachus, who during all these 
events had by the greatest skill subdued all Thrace. The allies 
required Antigonus to surrender Upper Asia, and to content him- 
self with the lower provinces. The generals of Antigonus found 
sufficient occupation for Cassander in Greece, and Lysimachus 
took httle part in the war in Asia, which was thus almost confined 
at first to Antigonus and Ptolemy. The latter held the provinces 
of Coele-Syi'ia and Palestine,t which were destined henceforward 
to be the battle-field between the Greek kingdoms of Syria and 
Egypt. Here Antigonus waged a successful war with Ptolemy, 
and here we fu*st meet with his son Demetrius, then quite a young 
man, who added to the vices he inherited irom his father the most 
contemptible meanness, and a taste for the lowest debauchery. oS'ie- 
buhr, with characteristic vehemence, calls him " the most unprin- 

* He did not assume the title of king till some years later. 

\ The name Coele-Syria (i. e. Hollow Syria) denotes properly the valley between 
the two ranges of Lebanon ; but, in the history of the wars between the Greek king- 
doms of Syria and Egypt, it is constantly used to indude Palestine. Damascus was 
the capital of Coele-Syria in this wider sense. 


cipled and most detestable man that ever existed." ^^TeverthelesSjhe 
has obtained a conspicuous name in history, and the high-sound- 
ing title of Poliorcetes {Besieger of Cities), by a peculiar d(5Telop- 
ment of that mechanical skill -vrhich distinguished the Macedonian 
engineers. Demetrius was only eighteen years old when he was 
entrusted by his father with the command in Cosle-Syria, having 
already distinguished himself in the campaign against Eumenes. 
His defeat at Gaza (b.c. 312) was partly retrieved by a subsequent 
victory, and Coele-Syria was again overrun by Antigonus. Seleucus 
took advantage of the battle of Gaza to recover Babylon, and a 
victory over Xicanor, the lieutenant of Antigonus, soon afterwards 
gave him possession of Media, and laid the foundation of the great 
kingdom of his successors.* The exhaustion of all the combatants 
brought about a general peace, by which the division of power 
was left much as it was before the war. Antigonus kept Asia, 
Ptolemy Egypt, Lysimachus Thrace, and Cassander was to hold 
Macedonia and Greece till Alexander, who was now sixteen, should 
come to fall age ; but he at once made the crown his own by the 
murder of the young prince and his mother (b.c. 311). In the 
following year, Polysperchon, who was in JEtolia, sent for Hercules, 
the illegitimate son of Alexander, now seventeen years of age, from 
Pergamus, and proclaimed him king ; but he was bribed by Cas- 
sander to murder him and his mother (b.c. 309). The last sur- 
viving relative of Alexander, his sister Cleopatra, who was about 
to marry Ptolemy, was secretly murdered by Antigonus at Sardis. 
Such was the end of Alexanders labours to found his imperial 

The peace was not intended to be permanent, and it was broken 
in the following year. Ptolemy came forward as the liberator of 
the Greek cities, to which Cassander had failed to grant the freedom 
stipulated for them by the treaty. Having subdued Cyprus and 
the southern shores of Asia Minor, he appeared on the coast of 
Peloponnesus with a powerful fleet (b.c. 308), Sicyon and Corinth 
were at once surrendered to him by Cratesipolis, the widow of 
Alexander, the son of Polysperchon ; but from the other cities he 
received only vague promises. He therefore made a treaty with 
Cassander, and withdrew from Greece, leaving garrisons in Sicyon 
and Corinth. Antigonus now resolved to attack Cassander in the 
name of the liberty of the Greek cities. The campaigns of his son 
Demetrius Poliorcetes will be noticed in the next chapter. His 
first stay in Greece, during which he captured Athens, was but 

* The " Era of the Sdaicidae " dates from this vear, E.C. 812. 

B.C. 301.] BATTLE OF IPSUS. 89 

brief, as he was recalled to Asia by Antigonus to besiege Salamis 
in Cyprus (b,c. 307). There he gained a decisive naval victory- 
over the Egyptian fleet of 140 vessels under Menelaiis, the brother 
of Ptolemy, who was compelled, in consequence, to surrender 
Cyprus (b.c. 309). Antigonus, now master of the sea, and of 
almost the whole of Asia, assumed the title of king ; and his 
example was followed by Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Lysimachus. 
Each made his accession a new chronological epoch, the " Mace- 
donian Eras," of which that of the Seleucidee is alone used in 

Antigonus and his son having been completely foiled in an 
attempt to decide the war by invading Egypt, Demetrius made an 
attack on Rhodes, which had refused its aid against Ptolemy. 
The siege is one of the most memorable in ancient hist or}', for the 
new and tremendous engines of attack, and the preseverance of the 
defence ; and the " Besieger of Cities" at length retired baffled 
(b.c. 305 — 304). He then returned to Greece ; and had carried on 
the war against Cassander for nearly four years with such success, 
as to be saluted at Corinth as the Captain of the Greeks, when he 
was once more recalled to assist his father in Asia. Before his 
departure, he made a treaty with Cassander, by which Greece was 
declared free (b.c. 301). 

The new danger which was now pressing upon Antigonus, arose 
from the growing power of Seleucus. Re-established, as we have 
seen, at Babylon, ten years before, he had employed the interval 
in subduing the whole of Upper Asia, from the Euphrates to the 
Oxus and the Indus. He now made a new coalition with Ptolemy, 
Lysimachus, and Cassander, against Antigonus, whose Asiatic pos- 
sessions were reduced to Asia Minor, ISTorthern Syria, and Cyprus. 
Scarcely anything is known of the details of the campaign, ex- 
cept that the confederates poured from all sides into Asia Minor, 
where Antigonus mustered all his forces to resist them. Deme- 
trius, marching from Thessaly through Thrace, joined his father 
before the decisive battle of Ipsus, in Phrygia (August, b.c. 301).* 
Immense numbers, with many elephants, fought on both sides. 
The victory was mainly decided by the heavy infantry of Cassander 
and Lysimachus. Antigonus died on the field of battle, at the age 
of eighty-one. Owing to the negligence of the allies in the pursuit, 
Demetrius made an orderly retreat to Ephesus with the remnant 

* This is the received date, confirmed by the authority of Clinton ; Mr. Grote's 
arguments for fixing the battle as late as the beginning of b.c. 300, do not appear to 
be decisive. 


of the army. Thence he passed over to Cyprus, and afterwards to 
Greece and Macedonia. The possessions of Antigonus were 
divided between Lysimachus and Selencus, the former obtaining 
the greater part of Asia Minor, and the latter Northern Syria, with 
part of Phrygia and Cappadocia, while Cassander seemed to be 
secured in the possession of Macedonia and Greece. The events 
that followed the battle of Ipsus are so connected, for the most 
part, with the history of Greece, that we reserve them for the 
following chapter ; only now casting a glance at the settlement of 
those new Asiatic kingdoms which, from the large interaiixture 
of Greek elements in their government, their population, and their 
lano-uao-e, have received the title of Hellenistic r Their further 
history is not of intrinsic importance enough to be pursued in 
detail; it will be best reviewed when they reappear as drawn 
within the sphere of Roman action. 

By far the greatest part of the East was divided between the 
two kingdoms of Syria and Egypt. The former was the more 
powerful ; the latter by far the more compact, and therefore the 
more lasting. ISTor was this result less due to the very different 
policy pursued by the two dynasties of the Seleucids and the 
Ptolemies ; — perhaps we should say, forced upon the former by 
their position between the growing powers of the West, and the 
forces still residing in the nomad tribes of the East. From the 
very first, Seleucus, as we shall soon see, was brought into a con- 
flict with the kings of Macedonia and Thrace, which only ended 
with his assassination by Ptolemy Ceraunus (b.c. 280). He was 
succeeded by his son, Axtiochus L, Soter. Amidst his constant 
wars, Seleucus had found time to carry on with great vigour the 
diffusion of Hellenic civilization through his empire, especially by 
the erection of cities, settled by Greek and Macedonian colonists, 
which were called by the names of Antioch, Seleucia, Apamea, 
and Stratonicea, after his father, himself, and his two wives, 
besides others bearing such Macedonian appellations as Beroea, 
Edessa, and Pella. The chief of these was the exquisitely beauti- 
ful Antioch, now Antakia^ in Syria, which rose amidst its gar- 
dens, by the luxurious grove of Daphne, in the fair valley of the 
Orontes, between the mountain ranges of Casius and Amanus. 
Hither Seleucus transferred his capital from Babylon, and here the 
Seleucidse reigned for nearly 250 years ; but their wide empire 
was speedily narrowed to a precarious tenm-e of Syi'ia itself. At 

* The term Grecian^ used by our old writei's, and among the rest by the translators 
of the Bible, is not sufficiently distinguished from Greek to be exact. 


the end of lialf a century (b.c. 250), tlie revolt of tlie Partliians 
cut off the provinces beyond the Euphrates. Half a century 
later, the ambitious interference of Antiochus III., the Great, 
with the Eomans in Greece lost him all Asia Minor beyond the 
Taurus. His successor, Antiochus Epiphanes, forfeited Palestine 
by his mad persecution of the Jews. From his time, the his- 
tory of Syria dwindles away into a succession of murderous con- 
tests within, and dangers on all sides from Parthia, Egypt, and 
Rome, till Pompey constituted Spia a Roman province in 
B.C. 65. 

Meanwhile, in Egypt, the prudent policy of Ptolemy I., the son 
of Lagus, surnamed Soter (Saviour) by the Phodians after their 
great siege, had laid the solid foundations of that growing pros- 
perity and civilization which reached its climax under his suc- 
cessor, Ptolemy 11., Philadelphus, who was associated with his 
father in the kingdom in b.c. 285, and began to reign alone in 
B.C. 283. We have already given a summary of the history of 
Egypt, down to its incorporation with the Roman empire in 
B.C. 30.* 

A third kingdom arose in Asia Minor about this epoch out of 
the ruins of that of Lysimachus. It was founded by Philetserus, 
a Paphlagonian eunuch, who, having been left by Lysimachus in 
charge of his treasures at Pergamus, revolted to Seleucus, when 
he saw the scale turning in his favour. The death of Seleucus 
enabled Philetserus to found a kingdom, to which his successor 
gave an air of old legitimacy by assuming the name of Eumenes.f 
Comprising at first the north-western comer of Asia Minor, it was 
greatly enlarged by the Romans, who, after the defeat of Antiochus 
the Great, conferred upon their ally, Eumenes U., the whole of 
Mysia, Lydia, the two Phrygias, Lycaonia, Pisidia, and Pamphylia 
(b.c. 190), which his grandson. Attains III., gratefully restored to 
them by his testament (b.c. 133), and which formed the province 
of Asia. It was under Eumenes II. that Pergamus became a seat 
of learning which rivalled Alexandria, with a library, in the for- 
mation of which the scarce :}: and fragile papyrus was replaced by 
parchment (charta Pergamend). 

It remains only to mention the Greek kingdom of Bactkia, 

» Vol. I. p. 141. 

f The following is a list of the kings of Pergamus : — ^Philetaerus, b.c. 280 — 263 ; 
Eumenes I., b.c. 263—241; Attalus I., B.C. 241—197; Eumenes 11., B.C. 197—159; 
Attalus II., Philadelphus, B.C. 159—138 ; Attalus HI., Philometor, B.a 138—133. 

\ Scarce, because of the vast quantity used in Egypt. 



founded by the revolt of Theodotus, the governor of the province, 
from Antiochus II., in e.g. 255, and overthrown by the Parthians 
about B.C. 125, after its kings had ruled over a considerable part 
of India ; and the Persian kingdoms of Pontus and Cappadocia, 
which, established by the rebellion of satraps in the last days of 
the empire, regained their independence with the decline of the 
Seleucidae, and will be heard of again in the course of Roman 





B.C. 334 TO B.C. 280. 

" Much-sufFering heroes next their honours claim, 
Those of less noisy, and less guilty fame. 
Here his abode the martyr' d Phocion claims, 
With Agis, not the last of Spartan names." — ^Pope. 

conditiok of greece at alexander s departure — athens and sparta — movements of 
agis — his defeat and death — ^schines and demosthenes — affair of hakpalu3 — 
exile of demosthenes — alexander's edict for restoring the exiles — effect op 
Alexander's death — the lamian war — tictort of antipater — deaths of htper- 
ides, demosthenes, and demades polysperchon — proclamation of greek liberty 







"We have now to look back upon the condition of Greece during 
tlie absence of Alexander in Asia, and the period of the wars of 
tlie Diadochi. It is seldom tbat a free country acquisces in the 
surrender of its liberty. Political rights may be snatched away by 
a surprise, bonie do"\vn by force, or forfeited by apathy and internal 
dissensions ; but a vigorous political life only expires, after many a 
hard struggle, in the crushing embrace of overwhelming strength. 
The Macedonian conquest had deprived Greece of the free use of 
her liberty ; but it was only finally extinguished by the arms of 
Rome. When the time arrived for the catastrophe, it proved an 
immense gain to the conquerors, and to the whole world, that the 
Hellenic life had not first been absorbed into an Oriental despot- 
ism. The last efibrts for liberty kept alive that " ingenium civile," 
which was a more precious gift even than the arts and letters which 
the victors received from the vanquished. 

In accepting the results of Chseronea and of the fall of Thebes, 


the Greeks had consoled themselves with the belief, whether real or 
affected, that their conqueror was their proper leader to the final 
triumph over Persia. How far this sentiment wrought among 
them, as at least a pretext for willing and even flattering consent, 
and how there remained a party which had not abandoned a truer 
view of the case, we have already seen. It is difficult to estimate 
the strength of that party throughout Greece ; and we can only 
trace its working with certainty at Athens and at Sparta, in the 
party divisions of the former state and the sturdy secession of the 
latter. The intuitive sagacity of Alexander judged rightly of the 
position of the two cities, when he took every opportunity to flatter 
Athens, but without loosening his grasp upon her, while he ex- 
cepted Sparta from all share in the honours of the common enter- 
prise.* The difference was equally marked in the conduct of the 
two cities themselves. 

While the patriot party at Athens were retailing every piece of 
news that seemed unfavourable to Alexander, with more curiosity 
than hope, the Spartans, under the guidance of King Agis III.,t 
were watching their opportunity for action, and meanwhile reviving, 
with considerable success, the confederacy of Poloponnesian states. 
How little reason there was for despair, if Darius had shown the 
least power of resistance, is apparent from the feelings excited by 
the successes of the Persian fleet under Memnon (b.c. 334 — 333). 
We have seen how the change in the plans of Darius, consequent 
upon Memnon's death, paralyzed the fleet by the withdrawal of 
the Grecian mercenaries, and how, though Pharnabazus continued 
the operations in the ^gsean, and met Agis to concert a landing 
in Peloponnesus, he was recalled to Asia by the news of the battle 
of Issus. He left, however, ten triremes and thu-ty talents with 
Agis, who sent his brother Agesilaus to reduce Crete, and Alex- 
ander found it necessary to send a naval force to act against him 
(b.c. 331). 

In the following spring, Agis declared open war against Anti- 
pater, the regent of Macedonia. The time seems ill-chosen, so 
soon after the victory of Arbela ; but he was perhaps encouraged 
by Alexander's increasing distance from Europe, as well as by the 
revolt of the Macedonian governor of Thrace. Agis was joined by 
many of the Greek mercenaries who had been serving Darius ; 
and he obtained the support of the Eleans, the Achaeans, and the 

* See, for examples, chap. xvi. pp. 38, 47, 49, 50, 52, 58. 

f The Eurysthenid king, aeomenes IL, appears to have been a mere cipher through- 
out his long reign of sixty-one years. 


Arcadians, except Megalopolis, wliicli was decidedly Macedonian. 
The influence of Phocion kept down tlie war party at Athens, and 
even Demosthenes would not advise the risk. The brief war which 
followed was confined to Peloponnesus. Agis, with an army of 
20,000 foot and 2000 horse, laid siege to Megalopolis, which 
Antipater hastened to relieve ; and Agis fell, with 5000 men, in a 
battle so desperate that it cost the victors 3500 killed and wounded. 
The synod of Greek states was again convened at Corinth, to pro- 
nounce the complete submission of Greece, and Lacedaemonian 
envoys followed Alexander as far as Bactra to place their city at 
his disposal. We are not told what answer they received. The 
defeat of Agis seemed to secure a complete ascendancy to the 
Macedonian party at Athens, who seized the opportunity for that 
grand attack upon Ctesiphon and Demosthenes, which recoiled so 
signally upon ^schines (b.c. 330). 

The history of Greece is now a complete blank till the return of 
Alexander from India to Susa (b.c. 325). Among the satraps who 
had abused their power during his absence, was Harpalus, whom 
he had treated with distinguished favour, and made governor of 
Babylon. While Harpalus was engaged in squandering the royal 
treasure in luxury, and treating his subjects with true Oriental 
tyranny, he was cultivating close relations with Athens, and send- 
ing presents both to the city and to many of the leading states- 
men. So, when he fled from Babylon, with 5000 soldiers and a 
large treasure, he steered for Cape Sunium, secm-e of a favourable 
reception. Prudence, however, forbade a step so directly hostile 
to Alexander; and Phocion and Demosthenes were agreed in oppos- 
ing it. Nay more, when envoys came from Antipater demanding 
that Harpalus should be given up, it was Demosthenes who moved 
his arrest. He contrived, however, to escape from the prison, and 
fled to Crete, leaving his treasure under sequestration in the 
Acropolis. On comparing its value with the account given in by 
Harpalus, a large deficiency was discovered ; and the Areopagus, 
after investigating the matter on the motion of Demosthenes 
himself, preferred a charge of peculation against several citizens, 
amongst whom were Demosthenes and Demades. The latter fled, 
but the former was found guilty by a dicastery of 1500 citizens, 
and sentenced to a fine of fifty talents. Having no means of pay- 
ment, he was cast into prison, whence he escaped, and resided 
sometimes at Troezen, and sometimes at JEgiua. It is said that 
he might often be seen upon the beach, shedding tears as he looked 
to the coast of Attica. Among his accusers was Hyperides, the 


most violent enemy of Pliilip and Alexander ; and tliere can be 
little doubt that his condemnation was secured by a diggraceful 
combination of the Macedonian party with the friends of Harpalus, 
whom he had refused to support, and who wanted a scapegoat for 
their own corruption.* 

One of Alexander's last acts was to throw a firebrand into 
Greece. In the midst of his own final triumph in Asia, he doubtless 
felt secure of obedience in providing a triumph for his partisans at 
home. Mcanor was sent to the Olympic festival (b.c. 224) with 
a rescri23t proclaiming to the exiles throughout Greece their resto- 
ration to their cities, which Antipater was instructed to enforce. 
Under the guise of a universal amnesty, the edict provided in 
eflect for the maintenance of a Macedonian party in every state — 
for its supremacy in many. Envoys were sent to remonstrate with 
Alexander ; and the whole of Greece was already in excitement 
when the news arrived of the monarch's death. 

The feeling produced is summed up in the striking image of 
the orator Demades, that the power of Macedonia was now like 
the monster Polyphemus when Ulysses had put out his single eye. 
The long-suppressed desire for free action found vent at Athens, 
in spite of the opposition of Phocion, who remained at his post, 
and kept his office as General, while others of his party fled to 
Antipater. Though Demosthenes was in exile, the youthful orator 
Leosthenes united with H}^erides in stimng up the people. Forty 
triremes, and 200 quadrii-emes,t were ordered to be equipped, and 
all citizens under forty years of age were called out. Envoys 
were sent round to the cities of Greece, and their efforts were 
seconded by Demosthenes, who was presently recalled in triumph. 
By the autumn, Leosthenes found himself in command of an 
allied army near Thermopylae, though Boeotia, Corinth, Sparta, 
and Megalopolis, kept down by Macedonian garrisons, rendered 
no assistance. His force amounted to 13,000 foot and 600 horse, 
with 110 ships, which sailed along the coast. 

The decision of the Thessalians for the Greek cause deprived 
Antipater of their splendid cavalry, and entailed upon him a 
great defeat in Thessaly. He threw himself into the town of 

* See the elaborate argument of Mr. Grote, History of Greece, vol. xii. pp. 402 

f Vessels with four banks of oars, which began about this time to replace the 
smaller but more handy triremes. The difference, to compare small things with 
great, is something like that between the first-rates and seventy-fours of the British 
navy, both now becoming as obsolete as the triremes. The battle of Salamis, 
mentioned in the last chapter, was remarkable for the large size of the ships engaged. 

B.C. 323.] THE LAMIAN WAE. 97 

Lamia, near the Spercheius, to await tlie aid wliicli he sent to ask 
from Asia. The allies were obliged to be content with a blockade, 
and Phocion indulged in sinister predictions : — " The short race 
has been run splendidly ; but I fear we shall not have strength to 
hold out for the long course." The augury seemed confirmed by 
the death of Leosthenes, who was struck on the head by a stone 
hm-led from a catapult ; and a fetal delay took place while his 
successor was being chosen. Little advantage was gained by the 
defeat and death of Leonnatus, who had advanced from Asia 
into Thessaly with 20,000 foot and 2500 horse. His anny was 
rallied by Antipater, who escaped from Lamia, and retired into 
Macedonia, to await the approach of Craterus ; while his fleet 
gained some advantages over the Athenians. 

In the following summer, the united forces of Antipater and 
Craterus gained a decisive victory over the allies at Crannon in 
Thessaly, and Greece lay once more at the mercy of the ]Mace- 
donian regent (August, b.c. 322). Refusing to treat, except with 
individual states, he marched to the Cadmean fort, where Thebes 
once had stood, as if about to enter Attica. Demosthenes, 
Hyperides, and the other anti-Macedonian leaders, fled to y^gina, 
and thence to sanctuaries elsewhere, while Phocion and Demades 
went to intercede with Antipater for the city. The best terms 
they could obtain were the surrender of the leading orators, 
including Hyperides and Demosthenes, the restriction of the 
franchise, and the admission of a Macedonian garrison into the 
port of Munychia. Demades, who has been so often named as 
the servile partisan of Macedonia, moved the decree for the aiTest 
of the orators, and officers were sent with the envoys of Antipater 
to pursue them. The temples in which they had taken sanctuary 
proved no protection. Hyperides was carried back to Athens and 
put to death, after Antipater — as it is said — had taken revenge for 
his free speech by ordering his tongue to be cut out and thro-svn to 
the dogs. Demosthenes escaped a fate probably still worse by a 
voluntary death, which was no crime in the eyes of a Greek. The 
story is related with various romantic details, but all we know for 
certain is that, when the satellites of Antipater came to drag him 
from the sanctuary of Poseidon at Calauria, he took poison m the 
temple, and then coming forth, as if to surrender himself, he died 
as he passed the threshold. It was affirmed by his nephew Demo- 
chares that, instead of dying by his own hand, he had been 
removed, like Sophocles, by an euthanasia in the sacred precinct, 
beyond the reach of Macedonian cruelty. At least it was time 

TOL. II — 7. 


for him to die, when he had survived the freedom to which his 
life had been devoted. His fate was less lamentable than that of 
his great rival Phocion, who perished by a similar death, after he 
had been compelled for a few years to administer the city accord- 
ing to the will of the Macedonian conqueror. But he deserves at 
least the praise of doing his best to govern justly. 

Antipater followed up his victory by setting up oligarchies of 
Macedonian partisans in the leading cities of Greece, and by whole- 
sale deportations of the free citizens. Having reduced all Pelo- 
ponnesus, he had crossed over with Craterus into ^tolia, with the 
design of transporting the rude and warlike inhabitants, to people 
the deserts of Upper Asia, when both were recalled, as we have 
seen, to resist the projects of Perdiccas (b.c. 321). The only 
event worth recording, in Greece, before the death of Antipater, is 
the savage murder of Demades, who had been sent to Pella to 
request the withdrawal of the garrison from Munychia. Unluckily 
for the orator, a letter of his had been found among the papers of 
Perdiccas, urging him to come over and rescue Greece from her 
dependence on " an old and rotten warp." Cassander avenged the 
insult to his father by putting Demades to death, after his son had 
been killed in his arms. Thus were the friends as well as the foes 
of Macedonia cut down one after the other (b.c. 319). 

The civil war which the will of Antipater caused between his 
son Cassander and his successor Polysperchon, involved the whole 
of Greece, and Athens first of all. Polysperchon, having allied 
himself with Olympias, and acting in her name and that of the 
sons of Alexander, who were now at Pella, issued an edict, pro- 
claiming that the Greek cities should be delivered from the oligar- 
chies set up by Antipater, and their constitutions restored, as they 
had existed under Philip and Alexander ; and the exiles expelled 
by Antipater were recalled to their homes. The Athenians at once 
required the Macedonian garrison to evacuate Munychia. But 
Nicanor, who had been sent by Cassander to supersede the former 
governor, not only refused, but took Piraeus by surprise, while Pho- 
cion, who was still at the head of affairs, not only neglected to take 
precautions, but refused to lead the Athenians to recover the port. 
Things were in this state, when Alexander, the son of Poly- 
sperchon, arrived with the advanced guard of his father's army, 
to enforce a peremptory mandate from Olympias for the evacuation 
of the garrison ; but instead of making common cause with the 
Athenians, Alexander spent the time in fruitless negotiations with 
Nicanor, till Cassander arrived at Piraeus with a large armament 

B.C. 318.] DEATH OF PHOCION. 99 

supplied to him by Antigonus. The blame of all was laid on 
Phocion, who was accused of intriguing both with Nicanor and 
Alexander, to obtain protection against the returning exiles. 
These had no sooner recovered their power in the citj, than thej 
proceeded to depose the magistrates who had held office under the 
government established by Antipater, and among them Phocion. 
Some were condemned to death ; others fled ; and Phocion repaired 
to the camp of Alexander, who received him well, and sent 
him with letters to Polysperchon, to whom the Athenians also 
sent a deputation, accusing Phocion of high treason. Poly- 
sperchon affected to hear the case impartially; but, bent on 
obtaining Piraeus for himself, he endeavoured to conciliate the 
Athenians by giving up Phocion, who was sent in chains to the 
city. He was tried by the popular assembly, and condemned to 
death, with four colleagues, amidst the most insulting exliibition 
of vindictive feeling by the returned exiles. He bore all with 
the most dignified patience ; and his last words, before he drank 
the hemlock, were to bid his son to cherish no evil memory of 
the Athenians. He died at the age of eighty-five. The Athe- 
nians soon afterwards received Cassander into the city, who 
restored the oligarchical government, under the distinguished 
orator, philosopher, and poet, Demetrius of Phalerum, who held 
his power for ten years. Meanwhile, the repulse of Polysperchon 
fi'om Megalopolis, and the defeat of his navy by that of Cassander, 
strengthened the party of the latter throughout Greece. In a pro- 
gress through Peloponnesus, he received the adhesion of most of 
the cities. One incident, highly characteristic of the abandonment 
of old Greek traditions is, that the Spartans now for the first time 
surrounded their city with walls (b.c. 317). 

We have seen how Cassander was recalled to Macedonia to put 
down the sanguinary tyranny of Olympias. His successes drove 
Polysperchon back into ^tolia, while Alexander maintained him- 
self in Peloponnesus. It was on his way to attack the latter that 
Cassander rebuilt Thebes, twenty years after its destruction by 
Alexander, and invited back the Theban exiles from all the cities 
of Greece, Sicily, and Italy. The measure was most popular 
through the whole Hellenic world ; the Athenians, Megalopolitans, 
and Messenians, being especially forward in aiding the work 
(b.c. 315). 

Cassander had already gained great successes in Peloponnesus, 
when Antigonus began to interfere in the afiairs of Greece, pro- 
claiming freedom to the cities. He despatched an armament 


under Aristodemus to the aid of Alexander, with, whom Cassander 
proceeded to make terms, leaving him the government of the 
peninsula under himself; and both were thus united against Aris- 
todemus. Alexander was soon after assassinated, but his widow 
Cratesipolis maintained herself in Sicjon, while Cassander gained 
considerable advantages over the ^tolians, formerly the allies 
of Polysperchon, and now of Antigonus. The latter now made 
a vigorous effort by sending over a new armament under his 
nephew Ptolemy, who was rapidly gaining ground in every quarter, 
when the war was suspended by the general pacification of b.o. 
311, and all the powers united to guarantee the autonomy of the 
Greek cities, though the provision remained a dead letter, and 
Cassander kept his garrisons in the cities that he now held. He 
afterwards granted the government of Peloponnesus to Polysper- 
chon, as the price of his treachery in the murder of \IIercules ; * 
while his own power in Northern Greece seems to have embraced 
all the western coast and a large part of Epirus (b.c. 309). We 
have seen how he secured the crown of Macedonia by the murder 
of Poxana and Alexander. 

The abortive expedition of the Egyptian Ptolemy (b.c. 308)f had, 
however, the effect of drawing upon Cassander the more serious 
attacks of Antigonus, who sent over his son Demetrius Poliorcetes, 
with a formidable armament, from Ephesus. Such was the confused 
state of the relations between Greece and the generals in Asia, that 
when Demetrius suddenly appeared on the coast of Africa in May, 
B.C. 307, his fleet was mistaken for that of Ptolemy, the ally of 
Cassander, and he sailed into Piraeus before the error was dis- 
covered. Demetrius the Phalerean, after governing well for some 
years, during which he improved the laws of Athens and adorned 
the city with splendid buildings, had degenerated into a sensual 
and luxurious despot. So, when Demetrius Poliorcetes proclaimed 
that he had come to free the city and to expel the Macedonian 
garrison, the people went over to him, and the late ruler retired 
to Thebes, and thence to Egypt. After reducing the Macedonian 
garrisons both of Munychia and Megara, and declaring the latter 
city free, Demetrius made a triumphal entry into Athens, pro- 
claiming the freedom of the city, and promising magnificent dona- 
tions from his father. He was received with such unbounded 
adulation and divine honours to his father and himself, that he is 
said to have declared himself ashamed of these degenerate Athe- 
nians. The only voice raised in opposition to the universal flattery 
* See chap. xvii. p. 88. f Ibid. 


was that of Demochares, the nephew of Demosthenes. Amidst 
the reaction against the philosopher Demetrius of Phalerum, a 
law was passed restricting the liberty of teaching in the philosophic 
schools, which were now, as we shall soon see, at the height of 
their reputation. The philosophers made a spirited appeal by 
leaving Athens in a body, and the decree was repealed the next 
year. Demetrius had remained only a few months at Athens, 
when he was recalled, as we have seen, to the naval war on the 
shores of Cyj)rus (b.c. 306). 

During the absence of Demetrius in the East, the war in Greece 
was renewed between Polysperchon and Cassander. The latter 
had gained a decided advantage at many points — had taken 
Corinth, and was blockading Athens by sea and land, when 
Demetrius opportunely returned with a large fleet to the Euripus, 
and landed at Aulis in Boeotia. Cassander, thus threatened in 
the rear, raised the siege of Athens, and retired towards Thessaly. 
He was pm-sued and defeated near Thermopylse by Demetrius, 
to whom a body of 6000 Macedonian troops went over. Deme- 
trius once more entered Athens, to be received with flattery more 
abject and impious than had been paid to himself and his father 
some years before. A decree was carried by Stratocles, that 
Athena invited Demetrius to be her guest. Lodged in the back 
chamber* of the Parthenon, he profaned the temple with the most 
abominable orgies of Aphi'odite, to whom he erected chapels 
throughout the city for his courtezans. The only voice raised 
against the decree of Stratocles is said to have been that of 
Demochares, the nephew of Demosthenes, who at all events was 
soon banished from Athens for his opposition to the extreme 
measures of the flatterers of Demetrius.f 

In the following spring (b.c. 303), Demetrius prosecuted the 
war in Peloponnesus against the garrisons of Cassander and 
Ptolemy. He conquered Corinth, Sicyon, all the states of Argolis, 
and the whole of Arcadia, except Mantinea ; and he made an 
expedition with his fleet to Leucas and Corcyra. After these suc- 
cesses, a congress at Corinth conferred upon Demetrius, as formerly 
upon Philip and Alexander, the dignity of captain-general of the 
Greeks. In the spring of b.c. 302, he returned to Athens, and 

* It has been already explained, that the Ophthodomtis, or back chamber, of a 
Greek temple was not the inner shrine, but a sort of vestry and treasury, as well as a 
lodging for the keepers of the temple. 

f The return of Demetrius was in b.c. 304 ; the banishment of Demochares in 
B.C. 303-2. 


was received as a god by a procession of the people, with garlands 
and incense. But even the hymn which they sang to him, as the 
god who alone had appeared to deliver them, was the measure of 
their debasement and distress. It is especially interesting to observe 
the language used respecting the growing power of the ^tolians, 
who are compared to the Sphinx, flying from its rock to carry off 
the helpless citizens. Both the order of the calendar and the most 
venerable customs of religion were made to yield to the wish of 
Demetrius, to be at once initiated into the highest grade of the 
Eleusinian mysteries. In the proper course, a candidate could 
only be initiated at the Lesser Mysteries, in the month of Anthe- 
sterion, and admitted to the higher decree sixteen months later, in 
Boedromion. Demetrius had reached Athens in Munychion, two 
months after the former period ; but, on the motion of Stratocles, 
it was declared that the cm'rent month should be considered as 
Anthesterion, and the next month as the Boedromion of the 
following year ; and then, after the two ceremonies, another decree 
set the calendar right again. A century before, Aristophanes 
had made Meton's reform of the calendar an occasion for the jest, 
that the gods and men would be celebrating their festivals at 
different times ; but such proceedings as these prove, as Niebuhr 
observes, that "no one at that time had much faith in those 
matters ; all was mere curiosity, and an obscure remnant of super- 
stition." Demetrius repaid this adultation by exacting from the 
Athenians a contribution of 250 talents, which he insulted them 
by squandering on his pleasm'es. 

Still pursuing the object of driving Cassander out of Greece 
and Macedonia, he marched into Thessaly at the head of 56,000 
men, and became master of much of the country. His continued 
success was one cause of the new coalition against his father in 
Asia ; and Cassander protracted the contest till Demetrius was 
recalled by Antigonus to share his defeat at Ipsus. Before he 
left Greece, he concluded a peace with Cassander, by which the 
Hellenic cities were declared free (b.c. 301). 

The military talents of Demetrius were conspicuous in his con- 
duct after the battle of Ipsus. Retreating with the remnant of 
the ai-my, he joined his fleet at Ephesus, and passed over to 
Cyprus, where he rallied all his forq,es, in order to secure Greece. 
There he might hope to hold out till the coalition of the generals 
in Asia should be dissolved by their mutual jealousies, and his own 
aid be sought, as in fact soon afterwards happened. For this 
contingency he at once paved the way by opening negotiations 


with Ptolemj, through the medium of the young Ptekhus, king 
of Epirus, whose name now appears in history for the first time, 
and of whose share in these transactions more will be said anon. 
But Demetrius had not calculated on the great effect produced in 
Greece by the defeat of Ipsus. Most of the cities that had so 
lately saluted him as their leader hastened to make their sub- 
mission to Cassander, Even Athens had recovered from her 
servile prostration, and recalled Demochares, who guided her coun- 
cils in the spirit of his uncle. Demetrius had already sailed from 
Ephesus, secure of a favourable reception at Athens, when he was 
met by an embassy, forbidding him to approach the city. At 
the same time they conducted his wife, with all her retinue and 
property, to Megara, and gave up to him the ships and treasures 
he had left behind. It was not the policy of Demetrius to involve 
himself in a war with Greece, which he had hoped to use as his 
basis of operations against Asia. So he carried his armament to 
the Thracian Chersonese, and there began an irregular warfare 
against Lysimachus. 

Meanwhile Lysimachus and Ptolemy had formed a closer league 
with each other, to counteract which, Seleucus sought the aid of 
Demetrius, and sued for the hand of his daughter, whom he after- 
wards resigned to his son Antiochus. This is the earliest example 
of these incestuous marriages, which afterwards became common 
both among the Seleucidae and the Ptolemies. Demetrius forth- 
with sailed to Syria, and on his way he made himself master of 
Cilicia ; and his refusal to give up this acquisition produced an 
ill feeling with Seleucus at the very moment of their alliance. 
About the same time, the negotiations which Demetrius had 
opened with Ptolemy were brought to a successful issue. Thus 
strengthened, he returned to Greece, and gained a footing in 
Peloponnesus before he attempted to recover Athens. 

It was about this time that Cassander died, after he had enjoyed 
for a few years the power restored to him by the victory of Ipsus 
(e.g. 297). He left three sons, Philip, Antipater, and Alexander. 
The first succeeded to the Macedonian throne as Philip IT., but 
died of sickness the next year (b.c. 296). His death was followed 
by one of those mui'derous contests, which now became the usual 
incidents of the succession to the crown. Antipater kiUed his 
mother, whom he suspected of favouring Alexander ; and the 
latter, esteeming his own life in danger, applied for aid both to 
Pyrrhus and Demetrius. The order of events is now obscure ; 
but it seems that Demetrius was engaged in the siege of Athens ; 


and so Pjrrlius liad tlie first opportunity, wliicli he hastened to 
seize. It is now time to give some account of the life of this 
remarkable man up to the present period. 

The country of Epirus, the most ancient seat of the Pelasgic 
religion, and, according to some accounts, the cradle of the 
Hellenic race, "was now subject to the -^acid family of Molossian 
princes, who claimed their descent from Pyrrhus or Neoptolemus, 
the son of Achilles. It seemed to be the destiny of these princes 
to bring on the inevitable collision between the powers of Greece 
and Italy. The first who bore the title of King of Epirus, Alex- 
ander, the son of Neoptolemus, and brother of Olympias, was 
killed in the war which he waged on belialf of the Tarentines 
against the Lucanians and Brutti (b.c. 326). His cousin and 
successor, JEacides, was deposed by the Epirots, who disliked the 
part he took in the war of Olympias against Cassander (b.c. 316). 
He was subsequently recalled ; but only to be defeated and slain 
in battle by Philip, the son of Cassander, who thus obtained the 
mastery of Epirus (b.c. 313). Pyi-rhus, the son of -^acides, was 
born in b.c. 318. On his father's deposition, the infant, saved by 
his faithful servants, found refuge with Glaucias, the king of the 
Hlyi'ian Taulantians, who brought him up with his own children, 
and refused to betray him to Cassander for a large bribe. Niebulir 
observes the resemblance in the conduct of the old Illyrian chief 
to the respect of the modem Albanians for the ties of hospitality, 
when once their word is pledged, notwithstanding their cruelty 
and venality. The same historian sees a proof of the natural 
excellence of the character of Pyi-rhus in the fact that he was not 
barbarized b v his early training. Ten years later, Glaucias restored 
Pyrrhus, then only twelve years old, to the throne of Epirus ; but, 
after five yeai-s, Cassander took advantage of the recall of Deme- 
trius to Asia, to procure the expulsion of P^htIius by the Epirots. 
The young prince, who was now seventeen, fled to Demetrius, who 
had married his sister, and fought with great distinction on the 
field of Ipsus. He was then employed, as we have seen, in a 
negotiation with Ptolemy, whom, like all with whom he came in 
contact, Pyn-hus so won by the peculiar charm of his character, 
that the Egyptian king sent him back to Epirus with a large 
force, and the queen Berenice gave him the hand of Antigone, 
her daughter by a former marriage. Pyn-hus was well received 
by the Epirots, and concluded an an-angement with ISTeoptolemus,* 

* Plutarch, who alone mentions this Neoptolemus, does not tell us who he was. 
Niebuhr supposes him to have been a son of Alexander, the late King of Epirus. 


tlie reigning prince, to share tlie kingdom ; but Neoptolemus was 
soon put to death, on the ground, as is supposed, of a plot against 
the life of Pyrrhus. 

The wealth supplied by Ptolemy enabled Pyrrhus to raise 
Epirus to great prosperity. He founded cities, and developed the 
military resources of the country, doing for Epirus what Arche- 
laus and Philip had done for Macedonia. Like the latter prince, 
he was passionately fond of war, and endowed by nature with 
the highest military genius. But here the resemblance ceased. 
Pyrrhus loved war, less for its substantial gains than for the 
excitement of the pursuit, as an artist works at his art to gratify 
an inward prompting. But, obeying only this impulse, his efforts 
were as desultory as they were eager. He is said to have pur- 
posely abstained from following up victory, lest the campaign 
should end too quickly, like a chase, the pleasm*e of which is lost 
if the game be caught too soon. Had he possessed Philip's steady 
purpose, and especially Philip's knowledge when to remain quiet, 
he might have been the greatest conqueror of his age, as he was 
almost, if not quite, the greatest captain of any age. Hannibal 
is said to have placed Pyrrhus first, Scipio second, and himself 
third, among the masters of the art of war ; or, according to a 
more probable version of the story, he assigned the first rank to 
Alexander, the second to himself, and the third to Pyrrhus. He 
was one of the first generals that wrote on the art of war. But 
he was not cold-blooded enough to be a great conqueror. Some 
change of purpose, or some generous impulse, perpetually turned 
him aside from an advantage already won. He was compared by 
Antigonus Gonatas to a gambler, who is often favoured by the 
dice, but knows not how to use his luck ; — he might have added, 
who cares not whether he loses or wins. For the most striking 
feature in the character of Pyrrhus was a frank and cordial cheer- 
fulness, which bore him up through all the changes of fortune, 
and won the hearts of ail with whom he had to deal. " There 
never was a prince," says Niebuhr, " in whom the character of a 
soldier had so much of poetry." 

Pyi'rhus had made some progress in the consolidation of his 
kingdom, when he was called to the aid of Alexander, who offered 
to give up to him certain districts which had been acquired by 
Macedonia on the fi'ontier of Epirus, as well as Acarnania, 
Ambracia, and Amphilochia on the western coast. PyiThus 
speedily drove out Antipater, who fled to his father-in-law Lysi- 
machus, in Thrace, and was not long after put to death by him. 


Pyrrhus then witlidrew to occupy his new possessions on the 
western coast, and fixed his residence at Ambracia. He soon 
became master of Corcyra, and probably of Leucas ; and thus his 
kingdom looked towards Italy, in which he was destined soon to 
act so conspicuous a part. 

Meanwhile Demetrius Poliorcetes had been prevented from at 
once obeying the call of Alexander by his occupation with the 
siege of Athens. The city had fallen under the tyranny of a certain 
Lachares, whom some call a demagogue, and others a creature of 
Cassander: he may have been both. The exiles whom he had 
driven out invited the aid of Demetrius ; but the citizens in 
general, fearing his resentment for his former repulse, held out 
against a long blockade, till famine forced them to }'ield.* 
Demetrius forgave the past, and distributed com to the famished 
people ; but he took precautions for the future by placing garri- 
sons in the ports of Pii'aeus and Munychia, as well as on the hill 
of Museum (b.c. 295). He then advanced into Macedonia ; and, 
having procured the assassination of Alexander, he was saluted by 
the army as king (b.c. 294). He was already in possession of 
nearly all Greece, except Boeotia, -^tolia, and the ports on the 
western coast in the hands of Pyrrhus. The reign of Demetrius 
lasted seven years, and was one perpetual series of wars with his 
neighbours in Europe, and with his rivals in Asia. For the 
greater part of this period he committed the government of Greece 
to his son, Antigonus Gonatas, who at last succeeded in founding 
a dynasty, which endured to the end of the Macedonian kingdom. 
In B.C. 292 Demetrius took Thebes, after an obstinate defence. 

In the following year (b.c. 291), the misfortune of Lysimachus, 
who, having crossed the Danube, had been compelled to surrender 
^vith his whole army to the Get9e,t gave Demetrius an opportunity 
to invade Thi-ace ; but he was recalled by a new revolt of Thebes, 
which was again taken in b.c. 290. During this campaign 
Pyrrhus invaded Thessaly, to make a diversion in favour of 
Thebes, but he was repulsed by Demetrius. At the same time 
the latter was engaged in war with the -^tolians. The confederacy 
of this rude people seemed now almost the sole refuge of Hellenic 
liberty, while the rest of the Greeks were passive spectators of the 

* Among the more ordinary incidents of suffering, common to cities closely be- 
si^ed, we are told of a father and son quarrelling for a dead mouse ! 

f These were the great and warlike people, apparently of Thracian origin, who 
were called Dacians by the Romans, and gave their name to the province of Daciju 
The king of the Getse behaved generously to Lysimachus, and soon released him. 


conflicts of the two norttiem monarchies. Each invaded the other's 
country, and each gained victories over the other ; but, while the 
conflict was thus indecisive, the moral victory remained with 
Pjrrhus. His chivalrous generosity, and his kindness to his 
prisoners, won the hearts of the Macedonians. Contrasting his frank 
simplicity with the ostentatious luxury and the tyrannical licence 
of Demetrius, they came to desire P}Trhu3 for their king (b,c. 287). 

While Demetrius was thus engaged at home, his Asiatic posses- 
sions were divided between Ptolemy and Seleucus, who now formed 
a new coalition with Lysimachus and Pyrrhus to strip him of his 
dominions in Europe. While Ptolemy sent a powerful fleet into 
Greece, and Lysimachus advanced against Macedonia from the 
east, Pyrrhus entered it from the west, the army went over to him, 
and he was proclaimed king, dividing the kingdom at first with 
Lysimachus. Demetrius fled to Asia, where, after adventures 
which it is not worth while to follow, he was compelled to sur- 
render to Seleucus (b.c. 2S6). He was kept a close prisoner, 
though not otherwise ill-treated, till his death in b.c. 283. 

The arrangement between Pyrrhus and Lysimachus soon came 
to an end. The latter had destined the crown of Macedonia for 
himself, and, when Pyrrhus had reigned only seven months, he 
again invaded Macedonia. The fickle people again went over from 
the Epirot stranger, as they now chose to regard Pyrrhus, to the 
old comrade of Alexander. Pyrrhus was driven back into Epirus 
(b.c. 286), whence, after a few years' rest, he undertook his me- 
morable expedition into Italy. Thus, in the year which several 
other events concur to mark as an epoch in history, we find 
Greece for the first time brought into direct contact with Pome 
(b.c. 280). The celebrated campaigns of Pyrrhus in Italy and 
Sicily belong to the history of Pome (b.c. 280 — 275). After his 
return to Epirus he made a predatory war upon Antigonus 
Gonatas, whom he expelled, and became once more king of 
Macedonia (b.c. 273). He now aimed at the conquest of Greece. 
Repulsed from Sparta he marched to Argos, to support one of the 
contending factions, which admitted him into the city. But the 
citadel, and all the strong places, were held by the other party ; 
and Pyrrhus was endeavouring to force his way back out of the 
place when a tile, hurled by a woman from a house-top, struck 
him on the nape of his neck, and he fell senseless from his horse. 
He was recognized and quickly despatched by the soldiers of 
Antigonus, who carried his head to their master. Antigonus 
showed great emotion on beholding it, and ordered the remains of 


Pyrrlius to be interred witli due lionours. Thus fell tins great 
and noble-minded soldier, like Abimelecli at Thebez, by the hand 
of a woman, in the forty-sixth year of his age (b.c. 272). Had he 
lived in happier times, he might have devoted to the defence and 
establishment of freedom the powers which were wasted in wars 
without result. 

The expulsion of Pp'rhus from Macedonia had left Lysimachus 
in possession of a magnificent kingdom, embracing nearly the 
whole of Asia Minor, with Thrace and Macedonia ; but Antigonus 
Gonatas, the son of Demetrius Poliorcetes, still held his ground in 
Greece by means of his powerful fleet, and many of the Greek 
cities maintained their independence. Lysimachus reigned for 
five years and a half over these enlarged dominions (b.c. 2S6 — 
2S1) ; but he was doomed to a violent death, like all the Diadochi, 
except Ptolemy, who, however, contributed indu*ectly to the fate 
of Lysimachus. The two families were connected by various 
intermarriages. Ptolemy had been twice married ; fij^t, to 
Eurydice, the daughter of Antipater, whom he had divorced in 
favour of her attendant, the beautiful Berenice.* Eurydice had 
borne him two sons, Ptolemy surnamed Ceraunus (i.e. Thunder- 
holt\ and Meleager, both of whom were excluded from the suc- 
cession, and Ptolemy Philadelphus, the son of Berenice, was 
associated with his father in the kingdom (b.c. 285). This step, 
which was probably taken through the influence of Berenice, 
seems to have rested on the principle, still a point of dispute 
in the East, that the children of a king, " bom in the pm-ple," 
should take precedence of those born before his accession. 
Besides these sons, Ptolemy had, by Eurydice, a daughter Ly- 
eandra (who was married to Agathocles, the son of Lysimachus 
by his first wife), and, by Berenice, another daughter, Arsinoe, 
who was the second wife of Lysimachus himself. Such were 
the relations between the two families, when Ptolemy Cerau- 
nus, enraged at his exclusion from the throne of Egyi^t, fled 
to Lysimachus. His kind reception appears to have brought to 
a head the jealousy of Arsinoe against Agathocles, both as the 
rival of her children and the husband of her step-sister. Aga- 
thocles, who was now a man of mature age, had distinguished 
himself in many of his father's campaigns, and was sure to be his 
successor, in wliich case Arsinoe, who had long been his declared 
enemy, might well fear, according to Macedonian precedents, for 

* This name, so common in the Hellenistic roral families, is the Macedonian form 
of the Greek Pkerenice, which signifies bringing victory. 


her own and her children's lives. Lysimachus, induced bj her to 
believe that his son was plotting against his life, first treated 
Agathocles with insult, and then caused him to be poisoned. 
The resentment of his subjects only confirmed the king in the 
belief of a conspiracy, and his rage was directed by Arsinoe against 
the brothers and friends of the murdered Agathocles. Several of 
the Asiatic cities now broke out in open revolt ; and Seleucus, to 
whom the wife of Agathocles had fled for refuge, seized the oppor- 
tunity of extending his power over Asia Minor. He crossed the 
Taurus at the head of a powerful army, and advanced to the plain 
of Corupedion in Phrygia, where Lysimachus, betrayed by the 
followers whom he had alienated, was defeated and slain (b.c. 
281). By his death Seleucus became master of the whole empire 
of Alexander, except Egypt and its dependencies. Southern 
Syria, Phoenicia, and Cyprus. But he did not long enjoy his 
conquest ; he had crossed the Hellespont to take possession of 
Thrace and Macedonia, and was sacrificing near Lysimachia, a 
city which Lysimachus had built on the neck of the Chersonese, 
when he was murdered by Ptolemy Ceraunus, whom he had taken 
under his protection as a rival to the king of Egypt, seven months 
after the death of Lysimachus (b.c. 2S0j. 

The death of the last of Alexander's own followers forms a 
natural resting-place in the history of the East, especially as the 
epoch is marked by other great events. But those events must be 
noticed, and a glance must be cast forward on the settlement of 
the afiairs of Greece, before we turn to the great rising power of 
the "West. Ptolemy Ceraunus was at once recognized as king of 
Macedonia and Thrace. Antiochus Soter, the son of Seleucus, 
who had long since resigned to him the provinces of Upper Asia, 
was a thoroughly Asiatic sovereign, and cared nothing for power 
in Europe. After a brief war, for the purpose of avenging his 
father's murder, and checking any designs which Ptolemy 
Ceraunus might have had on Asia, Antiochus made peace with 
Ptolemy, who, in his turn, had the prudence to effect a recon- 
ciliation with his brother, Ptolemy Philadelphus, resigning to 
him all claims to the throne of Egy|)t. Thus, with the establish- 
ment of Ptolemy H. Philadelphus on the throne of Egypt, and 
of Antiochus I. Soter on that of Asia, the history of the East 
becomes separate from that of Europe, till they are again brought 
into contact by the ambition of Antiochus the Great. 

Eeturning to Macedonia, Ptolemy Ceraunus found a rival in 
Antigonus Gonatas, whose operations, however, were confined to 


Greece. Ptolemy's sister, Arsinoe, the widow of Lysimaclms, 
had taken np her abode, with her family, in the fortress of Cas- 
sandrea. Fearing, it would seem, that this position might give 
the king of Egyj^t a hold upon the country, Ptolemy made a 
treacherous offer of maniage to his sister; and, being admitted to 
the fort, killed her sons and banished her to Samothrace. His 
crime was soon punished by an event, which requires us to take a 
glance beyond the northern boundaries of ^Macedonia. 

We shall soon have occasion to speak more fully of the great 
nation of the Gauls or Celts, who occupied, from very early times, 
all the regions of Western Europe, beyond the Alps and the Rhine, 
and who gave their name to the countiy of Gallia {France). Their 
early settlements in Italy, and the great irruption in which they 
sacked Eome (b.c. 390), will be noticed in the next book. During 
the ensuing century, the tribes which were estabhshed in the great 
plain of Xorthem Italy (Gallia Cisalpiaa) were constantly pressing 
on eastward round the head of the Adi'iatic ; and these movements 
appear to have caused the irruptions of the Tribalh and other 
Illyrian nations into ilacedonia. About e.g. 30S, a body of Gauls 
had reached the frontiers of Macedonia, and Cassander gave them 
settlements in Mount Orbelus. Duiing the following years, new 
swarms arrived from Italy, and accumulated beyond the moun- 
tains of Scardus, Orbelus, and Scomius, through which they poured 
into Macedonia towards the close of b.c. 380. Ptolemy ventured 
to meet them in the field ; but the Macedonian phalanx was 
broken before the superior numbers, the savage war-cries, and the 
broadsword of the Gael, like the Eoman legions at Allia, and 
many a disciplined army since. Ptolemy Ceraunus was killed in 
the battle, and his kingdom fell into complete anarchy. His 
brother Meleager, and Antipater, a nephew of Cassander. succes- 
sively failed in the attempt to establish themselves on the throne, 
which was at last offered by the army to Sosthenes, who had 
meanwhile succeeded in checking the invaders. Their main body 
seems to have retired behind the mountains when satiated with 
plunder ; but they returned in the following year, and inflicted on 
Sosthenes a defeat, which was soon followed by his deatli (b.c. 279). 
On this occasion, the Gauls pressed on as far as Delplii, to plunder 
the temple. The local tradition declared that Apollo defended his 
sanctuary by miracles like those which had baffled the Persians 
two hundi'ed years before ;* but sober histoiw must give the honour 
of the achievement to the Greeks. They assembled their forces, 

• VoL L pp. 420, 421. 


under the Athenian Callippus, and routed the invaders, disordered 
by plunder and excess. Brennus, the leader of the Gauls, was 
slain. The hordes that followed him retreated partly across the, 
Hsemus to the banks of the Danube ; part founded settlements 
in Thrace ; while another body passed on to the Hellespont and 
Propontis. Of these, some crossed the Hellespont in search of 
plunder, while others were invited over from Byzantium by 
Nicomedes I., king of Bithynia. These two hordes, reinforced 
by fresh swarms, overran the whole of Asia Minor within the 
Taurus, exacting tribute of its princes, while some bodies of them 
crossed the Taurus, and served in the armies of Syi'ia and Egypt. 
Their ascendancy was checked by the growing power of the kings 
of Pergamus ; and at length, just half a century after their firet 
entrance, Attains I. inflicted on them a decisive defeat, and com- 
pelled them to settle within the limits of the district which was 
henceforth called Galatia* (b.c. 230). Intermingling with the 
Hellenist population around them, they adopted Greek manners, 
but they preserved their OAvn language, with their political organi- 
zation. They formed three tribes, bearing the thoroughly Gallic 
names of Tolistobogi, Trocmi, and Tectosages, each consisting of 
four clans, which the Greeks called Tetrachies. 

The anarchy of Macedonia was ended, shortly after the expul- 
sion of the Gauls, by the victory of Antigonus Gonatus over the 
other competitors for the throne (about e.g. 278). We know 
but little of his exact position up to this time. He had been 
appointed, as we have seen, by his father, Demetrius Poliorcetes, 
to the government of Greece, where he had held his ground 
amidst the contests for the throne of Macedonia, on the one hand, 
and the risings of the Greek cities, supported by the king of 
Egypt, on the other. His usual residence seems to have been at 
Demetrias, in Magnesia, and his chief strength lay in his close 
alliance with the ^tolians, whose power now reached eastward as 
far as Phocis. The extent of his hold upon Peloponnesus is very 
doubtful ; but, as will be seen presently, that hold was greatly 
loosened, at the epoch of b.c. 280, by a new movement in assertion 
of Panhellenic liberty. About the time when Ptolemy Ceraunus 
was contending for his newly usurped crown, with Antiochus on 
the one side, and Antigonus Gonatus on the other, a confederacy 
of the Greek states appears to have been formed against the 
latter, under the leadership of Sparta, and with the aid of Egyp- 

* It was also called Gallo-GrsEciae and Grceco-Galatia, from the mixture of Gauls 
and Greeks in its population- 


tian money and ships. As a pretext for combining tlieir forces, 
an Amphictyonic war was declared against the ^tolians, the 
allies of Antigonus, on the old ground, the cultivation of the 
devoted plain of Cirrha. The mover in the enterprise was Areus, 
king of Sparta, who, with the money supplied to him from Egypt, 
kept up a mercenary force, and imitated the pomp of the Asiatic 
courts. It has been seen how disastrously former Amphictyonic 
wars had ended, nor was the present an exception. The allied 
army was utterly defeated and dispersed by the ^tolians, but the 
war was still maintained in a desultory manner by Areus. One 
gain from it appears to have been the expulsion of the Mace- 
donian garrisons from the ports of Athens. 

It was soon after the defeat of the allies, that Antigonus 
Gonatas obtained the Macedonian throne, and became the founder 
of a dynasty, and the restorer of the monarchy. After the brief 
interruption of two or three years, when he was expelled, as already 
related, by Pyrrhus, he kept the crown till his death, in B.C. 239. 
The dynasty he founded lasted for seventy years after his death, 
numbering three generations and four kings. Macedonia became 
the umpire in the conflict between the contending Greek forces of 
Sparta and the Achaean and -^tolian leagues. Demetrius II., the 
son of Antigonus Gonatus (b.c. 239 — 229), carried on war with his 
dangerous neighbours, the ^tolians. His cousin and successor 
Antigonus Doson (b.c. 229 — 220), supported the Achaean League, 
and gained the decisive battle of Sellasia over Cleomenes, king of 
Sparta (b.c. 221). The long reign of Philip Y., the son of 
Demetrius II. (b.c. 220 — 1T8), witnessed the culminating power 
of this later Macedonian kingdom, and its himailiation in the 
conflict with Rome, to which it finally succumbed under his son 
Perseus, in b.c. 168. The last successor of Philip and Alexander, 
and the lineal descendant of the great Antigonus, was dragged in 
chains through the streets of Rome, to grace the triumph of 
-^milius Paulus, and then thrown into a dungeon, but he ended 
his days in an honom-able captivity at Alba. 

We shall have to return hereafter to the history of these later 
Macedonian kings, as well as to that of the Achaean League, 
and its two great heroes, 

" Aratus, who awhile relumed the soiil 
Of fondly lingering liberty in Greece ; 
And him, her darling as her latest hope, 
The gallant Philopoemen, who to arms 
Turned the luxurious pomp he could not cure ; 
Or toiUng in his farm a simple swain, 
Or, bold and skilful, thundering in the field." 


Meanwhile it is well to take a prospective glance at tlie causes 
and the issue of this last effort for freedom. During the war in 
wl^ch PjTrhus lost his life, Antigonus Gonatas was at the head 
of an army in Peloponnesus, where he obtained complete ascend- 
ancy after the fall of Pyrrhus. Some of the cities were held 
by his garrisons, and others by tyrants in his interest. Sparta, 
which he had aided against Pyi-rhus, was soon at war with him 
again, in alliance with Athens and the king of Egypt. The 
details of this war are very obscure. The Spartan king Areus was 
killed in battle ; and Athens, after being nearly ruined by a long 
blockade, was forced to surrender to Antigonus, about b.c. 262. 
The Macedonian garrisons were replaced in Pirseus and Munychia, 
but the city was declared free, and Antigonus, in his frequent 
visits to Athens, paid marked honour to her eminent philosophers, 
especially to Zeuo. Sparta, now closely dependent on Egypt, 
seemed to be the only Hellenic power capable of withstanding the 
Macedonian king, except the great confederacy of the -^tolians, 
who were his close allies. 

But an ancient state, which had remained hitherto almost 
isolated in the midst of Greece, was gradually rising up into new 
life, to afford the country a last hope of liberty, and to give the 
world a brilliant example of the working of a federation. The 
Achsean race, who, in the time celebrated by Homer, had been 
dominant in Peloponnesus, had remained in political insignifi- 
cance since the great Dorian migration drove them up to the strip 
of land along the northern coast of the peninsula. Their twelve 
great cities* had been anciently united in a Panachsean confedera- 
tion, which was chiefly, like the old Panionian confederacy in the 
same region, for religious objects. This league had been dis- 
solved by the policy of Philip and Alexander, who could not, 
however, destroy the bond between the cities. During the 
troubles that followed the death of Lysimachus (b.c. 280), four 
of these cities, Dyme, Patr^e, Tritcea, and Pharse, formed a 
league to resist the Macedonian domination, which was afterwards 
joined by all the Achaean towns, except Olenus and Helice. At 
first, however, they were reduced by Antigonus, with the other 
cities of Peloponnesus, and were occupied, like the rest, by his 
garrisons, or by the tyrants he set up. The oppression of these 
rulers furnished a fresh motive for the renewal of the league after 
Antigonus had withdrawn ; and the king, residing at Pella, seems 
to have overlooked so insignificant a state. Thus left to itself, 

* Afterwards reduced to ten by the destruction of two of them by an earthquake. 
TOL. II — 8. 




-. --^-'^ ■' —- 

:» OfTAF.xviiL 

"-; (-'.-.Tis^italiaB. 

- - 

■ - ^ - ■ 




=»^ a kader. The 

1 ii i_ ^ 

- - ' 


- ' 



down to B.C. 220, the je2x in whicli the History of PoWsins 

It was in b.c. 245 that Aratos was first elected 2& Stategns of 
the League, which had meanwhile \xiesk steadily eoi^olidatii^ 
itself. Abont this time the Achseans formed an alliance with the 
Boeotians, the state which seemed besi ai^ to dteek ^le growtli 
of the rival iEtoKan caofedoracy ; but tiie ..^oliaiis Ml upon the 
Boeotians, and crushed them before the Adh^ans came to their 
aid ; and the old Boeotian confederacy, with its ^a^sA remnant of 
power, was absorbed in the ^t<jlian League. The loss was com- 
pensated by Aratns's daring snrprise of Corinth and its otadel, 
which Antigonns had carelessy entmsted to a Stoie pfailoea^pha' 
and a garrison of Syrian mercenaries. THie &nncr psored ioeam- 
petent, the latter treaeherons ; and the loes of the Aerooonntfans 
deprived Antigonns of the key to Peloponnesus. Aiatns fellowed 
np this enterprise by the capture of M^aia ; and Ae Adbaean 
League was joined successively by the smaller states of tiie A^golid 
peninsula, by all the chief Arcadian cities, indndii^ MegalopalB 
(b.c. 234) : and finally by Argos (ex. 228). These cities had i^ 
to this time been governed by tyrants, several of whom laid down 
their power voluntarily. On the other hand, Elfe and some of the 
western cities of Arcadia joined the'^tohan League; and thns 
Peloponnesus was divided between the two ccHifedefaoes, with the 
exception of the southern part, where Messaie ranained at fiist 
neutral, but ultimately joined the Achaean League; and Sparta 
pursued the peculiar policy which remains to be described. Li 
!N'orthem Greece, the only states not embraced in tiie ^toiian 
League were Acamania and Athens. The Acamanians &nned a 
confederacy of their own, which was destined to piaj an important 
part in the war with Eome ; but at present they were still snbjjeet 
to Macedonia. Athens, as we have seen, had been deciared fiee 
by Antigonns (b.c. 256), who had, however, polled down the long 
walls and left his garrisons iu Piraeus and MnnTclna, wMdli Ae 
Athenians and Aratus persuaded the Macedonian gOTemor to 
withdraw (about b.c. 229). Thus Athens became an alljr of iJie 

* The Memoirs of Arams are Lost. Tbia is a 3wl;iliili» ocituriM t» mi rfiw fle gat 
uncertaintj of this period of history, whicsb, as Ifieiiria' ifiiwiti^ bas Id be ■■endkA 
from a hondred dLSerent sources. Our t*-'^™g auLbuvllj is tte'IlflEpfie HBto e im '^ 
of Justin, a work probably «^ tiie fcmrth or fiffib uibIkj f£ o^ oa^ H a df ai cjuituuBt! 
of the ''PhiUppic mstoaes" itf 'fiogwe .Piiiiiwv a miter of Idbe A^gBta age. 
The latter most valuable work, wUdb OBbneed a b ajtoj «f tte 
monarchy, with such digre^ons into tfie atories of tibe aU ftnirfif 
giTe it the character of a anlTersal history, is entirely lost n i 


Achseans, thougli not an actual member of the League ; but she 
had almost lost all political weight in Greece ; and the thoughts 
of her citizens were chiefly occupied with her philosophical schools. 
That this rapid progress should have been made by the Achaeans 
without the interference of Macedonia, can only be explained by 
the indolence into which Antigonus Gonatas sank during the latter 
part of his long reign, and the occupation found for his suc- 
cessor Demetrius by the ^tolians. On the other hand, Aratus 
was continually aided by fimds from the king of Egypt, Pto- 
lemy III., Euergetes. 

In this state of affairs, the balance of Greek liberty was in the 
hands of Sparta ; but Sparta was in no condition to rise to the 
occasion. Her rulers were the more loath to abandon the hope of 
recovering her supremacy, as they pursued it no longer in the old 
spirit of Dorian hardihood, but as the rivals of the newly founded 
monarchies. The gold of Egypt had introduced a corrupting 
luxury, amidst which the old Dorian hatred of the Achaeans and 
the Arcadians grew more intense. A brief hope of better things 
was held out by the accession of the Proclid king, Agis lY., whose 
patriotism aimed at once at a revival of the institutions of Lycur- 
gus, and an alliance with the Achaean League. Like Cleomenes, 
who renewed his attempts at reform, Agis was a young man full 
of generous enthusiasm, and Plutarch has most fitly compared 
them with the Gracchi. Ascending the throne at the age of 
twenty (b.c. 244), Agis found the number of Spartan citizens 
reduced to seven hundred, of whom not more than one hundred 
possessed property. Members of the royal and noble families 
went abroad to serve as mercenaries, and retm'ned laden with the 
wealth, and corrupted by the vices of the East. The influence of 
such men, headed by the other king, Leonidas IL, formed an 
insurmountable obstacle to the plans of Agis for restoring Sparta 
to her ancient glories ; and the partial success of his measures, 
which we cannot stay to describe, only provoked a more violent 
opposition, to which he fell a victim, with his near relatives (b.c. 
240). But he found a follower, at first more fortunate, in the son 
of the very rival who had foiled him, the Eurysthenid king, 
Cleomenes III., who married the widow of Agis, and succeeded 
his father Leonidas in b.c. 236. Cleomenes, however, in his 
zeal to revive the martial spirit of Sparta, viewed the Achaean 
confederacy, not, like Agis, as a pattern and an ally, but as a rival. 
He made war upon the Achaeans for the possession of Orchomenus, 
Tegea, and Mantinea, with such success as to obtain the power to 

B.C. 220.] PHILIP V. A^^D THE ACH^AN" LEAGUE. 117 

carry out his reforms at home. He put to death the Ephors who 
were at the head of the opposite party, and carried out the reforms 
of Agis, and others of his own. Taking the field again as the head 
of a renovated and united state, he gained new successes against 
Aratus, who now called in the aid of Antigonus Doson (b.c. 223). 
The war had now lasted five years. For two years more Cleomenes 
held out against the united forces of the Macedonians and Acheeans, 
till he was defeated, and his army utterly destroyed, at Sellasia, in 
Laconia (b.c. 221). Cleomenes found refuge in Egypt with Ptolemy 
Euergetes ; but he was imprisoned by his successor, Ptolemy lY., 
Philopater. Escaping from prison, he made one last attempt to 
rouse his countrymen against their new master ; and, when he found 
them submissive to the yoke, he died by his own hand. Greece was, 
however, saved from the domination of Antigonus Doson by his 
recall home to meet an invasion of the Illyrians, followed shortly by 
his death in the same year as that of Cleomenes (b.c, 220). 

Meanwhile the ^tolian League had been steadily gaining ground 
during the war between Cleomenes and the Achaeans. On the 
death of Antigoifus and the accession of Philip Y., who was only 
seventeen years old, the JStolians made an attack upon Messenia, 
and inflicted a complete defeat on Aratus and the whole force of 
Achaea. Aratus once more sought aid from Macedonia ; Philip 
entered into a close alliance with the Achoeans, and Aratus became 
his most trusted friend and counsellor. The " Social War " 
between the ^tolian and Achaean Leagues, the latter being aided 
by Philip, lasted about three years (b.c. 220 — 217). Its chief 
result was a great accession of power and reputation to Pliilip by 
his repeated victories over the ^tolians, followed by a marked 
deterioration in his own character. The news of Hannibal's first 
victories in Italy tempted him to seek new laurels on the same 
field. With this view, he made peace with the .^tolians, and 
presently afterwards concluded an alliance with the Carthaginians 
(b.c. 216). His first unsuccessful attempts against the Romans 
in Illyria were accompanied by arbitrary proceedings in Greece ; 
and it was for his remonstrances against these acts that Aratus 
was removed by poison (b.c. 213). The Romans now appear 
upon the scene as the allies of the ^tolians (b.c. 211), while 
Aratus found a worthy, and in some points a nobler successor, 
in Philopcemen, by whose victories over Sparta the power of 
the Achffian League was extended throughout Peloponnesus. How 
the advantages thus gained were lost, and how Greece was 
finally constituted a Roman province under the name of Achaia 


(b.c. 1^6), will be related among the other conquests of the 

This summary of the history of Greece during the period of the 
Macedonian supremacy would be very incomplete without some 
notice of that important section of the Hellenic race, which was 
settled in Italy and Sicily. The aflairs of the Italian Greets gave 
occasion to those enterprises of the Epirot kings, which brought 
them into collision with the Romans ; and the history of Sicily is 
embellished by the romantic adventures of Agathocles. The cities 
of Magna Graecia, severed from the objects of interest which 
absorbed the attention of the mother country, found it difficult to 
hold their own against the aggressious of their Italian neighbours, 
the Lucaiiians, Bruttians, and Messapians; and the expeditions 
which the two Dionysii undertook in Italy weakened these cities 
instead of assisting them. Tarentum was especially hard pressed 
by the Messapians ; and it was in an expedition to its aid that 
the Spartan king Archidamus, son of Agesilaus, lost his life, 
about the time of the battle of Chaeronea i e.g. 33S). The Epirot 
king Alexander, the brother of Olympias, next undertook an 
expedition to the aid of the Tarentines, in which, after some 
successes, he was assassinated (b.c. 331). Fifty years passed 
before the same enterprise was renewed by Pyrrhus, in the manner 
which is to be more fully related in a future chapter. 

Meanwhile, the like distresses of Croton, causing it to seek aid 
fi'om Syracuse, gave occasion for the first appearance of the cele- 
brated Agathocles, an adventurer rarely equalled in the history 
of the world for unbounded daring, fertility in resource, and utter 
want of principle. His name breaks the silence of nearly twenty 
years, in wliich the aflairs of Syracuse are shrouded after the 
death of Timoleon, in b.c. 336. TTe only know that in this 
inteiwal the popular constitution had been overthrown and an 
oligarchy of 600 set up, under Sosistratus and other leaders, about 
the time when an expedition was tmdertaken to aid the Croto- 
niates against the Bruttians (probably about b.c. 320). In this 
expedition, the popular voice assigned the highest place of merit 
to Agathocles, who had recently risen from the obscure station of 
a potter. He was the son of Carcinus, a Bhegian exile, who had 
settled at Therma, in the Carthaginian part of SicUy. His birth 
is suri'ounded by that halo of legend which is so often reflected 
on to the cradle of great men fi-om their subsequent exploits ; such 
as that his father, having dreamed that he would be a cause of 
evil to Sicily, would have exposed the infant, but he was saved by 


his mother, and secreted till liis seventh year, when his father had 
long repented of his supposed murder. At eighteen years of age, 
he was settled at Syi-acuse, following his father's humble occupa- 
tion of a potter. He became equally conspicuous for his profligate 
habits, and for his tall and handsome form, his vast strength, his 
courage in military service, and his fluency of speech. A wealthy 
citizen named Damas took notice of him, supphed hiiii with 
money, and gave him the opportunity of distinguishing himself in 
a subordinate command against the Agrigentines : and, when 
Damas died, Agathocles succeeded to his wealth and influence by 
marriage with his widow. In the expedition to Croton, Aga- 
thocles served as an ofiicer under his brother Antander, who was 
one of the generals ; and when the oligarchical leaders withheld 
from him the prize of valour, he charged them op'enly with aspir- 
ing to set up a tyranny. ]^ot succeeding in eft'ecting a revolution, 
he left Syracuse, and levied a band of mercenaries in L:aly, whom 
he employed sometimes in attacking the Greek cities, sometimes 
in aiding them against their enemies. After making two unsuc- 
cessful assaults on Syracuse, he took the neighbouring city of 
Leontini, and was established there when a revolution in Syracuse 
led to his recall. In the war which ensued with the oHo-archical 
exiles, who were assisted by the people of Gela and by the Cartha- 
ginians, Agathocles was the mainstay of the city ; but the suspi- 
cion of his designs was so strong that he was driven out of the 
city, and a plot for his assassination was only frustrated by his 
departing in the disguise of a beggar. He appears to have found 
refuge with the Carthaginians, by whose aid the oligarchical govern- 
ment was restored soon afterwards at Syi-acuse. Agathocles, burn- 
ing with hatred towards the citizens who had expelled him, was 
received back into the city through the mediation of Hamilcar. He 
took an oath to support the government, and to respect the rights 
of all classes of the citizens, and to keep peace with Carthage ; 
and he was forthwith appointed as general. Scarcely was this 
done, when Agathocles, in collusion with Hamilcar, collected a 
large force of mercenaries, and let them loose to slay and plunder 
the senate and their wealthy supporters. For two days, Syracuse 
presented the appearance of a city taken by storm; and the 
massacre of 4000 citizens was followed by the banishmeijt of 6000 
more. Agathocles then presented himself to an assembly of the 
people — consisting doubtless of his o^vn soldiers and the rabble 
who had joined them in their late savage deeds — congratulated 
them on the recovery of their liberty by the extii-pation of the 


aristocrats ; and by offering to lay down liis command lie obtained 
his appointment as "Autocrat," or sole ruler with unlimited 
powei-s. Thus did S}Tacuse succumb to a usurpation far worse 
than that of the Dionysii (b.c. 317). 

But Agathocles answered, not to the type of the self-indulgent 
tyrant, but to that of the military despot — a type less contemptible, 
but more odious than the other, and doubly dangerous, not only 
from the power and aggressive policy of such princes, but from the 
readiness of men to reward their success with admiration — nay 
more, to render to them respect, if they appear to make any good 
use of the power seized by perjury and bloodshed. Once firmly 
seated on his usurped throne, Agathocles proclaimed that he 
would govern for the good of the people ; and his generous 
courtesy proved that his atrocities had been committed, not from 
the impulse of a cruel nature — they had not even that wretched 
excuse — biy; in the pursuit of a deliberate policy. That policy 
was to found an imperial power in Sicily, alike over the Greek 
cities and the parts now subject to Carthage; and, had Sicily 
possessed a leader with the spirit of Hellenic patriotism, the 
libert}'' lost in Greece might have flourished on her soil. 

After various and rapid successes, Agathocles attempted the re- 
duction of the two cities where the Syracusan exiles were chiefly 
harboured, Messana and Agrigentum. He was repulsed from the 
former, while the latter prepared for a vigorous defence, and 
invited Acrotatus, the son of Areus, from Sparta as a leader. But 
the young prince brought nothing with him but the airs of Asiatic 
royalty Avhich he had learned from his father ; and his murder of 
Sosistratus provoked an insurrection, in which he only saved his 
life by flight. The Agrigentiues were glad to conclude a peace by 
the mediation of the Carthaginians, and Agathocles was recog- 
nised as the leader of the Greek cities, which were declared free, 
except Himera, Selinus, and Heraclea : these remained subject to 
Carthage. With his accustomed perfidy, Agathocles set to work 
to subdue the cities which had thus become his allies. Haviner 
compelled Messana to accept his terms, and to drive out the exiles, 
he laid siege to Agrigentum. 

The Carthaginians, alarmed at the growth of his power, sent a 
fleet to the defence of the city, an act which involved them in 
open war M-ith Agathocles. He ravaged their territory, and per- 
petrated another atrocious massacre of the citizens of Gela, whom 
he supposed to be ready to revolt ; but the Carthaginians were 
strongly reinforced from home, and Hamilcar defeated Agathocles 


in the great battle of Hiiuera (b.c. 310), the same place at whicli 
Gelo had defeated and slain another Hamilcar, a hnndred and 
seventy years before.* The Greek cities in general welcomed the 
Carthaginians as deliverers, and Agathocles was besieged in 
Syracuse. He now set the daring example, afterwards followed 
by Scipio, of carrying the war into Africa, first providing for the 
safety of his rule at home by another massacre of 1600 wealthy 
citizens, whose goods supplied him with funds for the expedition. 
His voyage, which was signalized by a solar eclipse, lasted six 
days and nights ; and he just succeeded in distancing the Car- 
thaginian squadron which had allowed liini to escape from 
Syracuse, as he reached the coast of Africa. 

Landing at the " Stone Quarries," some days' march east of 
Carthage,t Agathocles burnt his ships as a solemn offering to 
Demeter and Persephone, and advanced through the rich territory 
of Carthage, which had never yet been trodden by an enemy. 
The unwalled cities offered no resistance to his progress, and the 
exuberant products of the corn-fields, the vineyards, the olive- 
yards, and the orchards kept his army in luxurious abundance. 
At length he reached Tunes (Tunis), at the bottom of the Cartha- 
ginian Gulf; and here, having stormed the city, he fortified his 
camp at the distance of little more than ten miles from Carthage. 
The intelligence of his advance had preceded the news of his 
landing, which had been sent from the fleet ; but the first con- 
sternation at Carthage was changed into the assurance of victory, 
when they heard that Agathocles had left Sicily as a fugitive, 
and had cut off his own escape. The vastly superior army which 
went out to meet him carried 20,000 handcuffs, a sort of provision 
which has ever proved ominous to those who have made it, from 
the time of Xerxes to that of the Invincible Armada. The com- 
mand was entinisted to Hanno and Bomilcar, two leaders of the 
opposite factions which divided the Carthaginian state. Their 
rivalry, which was expected to act as a salutary mutual check, 
proved fatal. Bomilcar, who commanded the left wing, held 
back, while Hanno, on the right, made a vigorous attack. At the 
moment when the Greeks began to give ground, Hanno was killed, 
and his fall gave Bomilcar an excuse for ordering a retreat, 
which ended in the defeat of the entire army. While the Car- 
thaginians endeavoured to propitiate the gods by sacrificing two 

* See YoL I. p. 433. 

f The data are insufficient to identify the places. The spot where Agathocles landed 
seems to have been on the western side of the tongue of land terminating in Cape Bon. 


hundred children of their best families with the horrid rites of 
Moloch (whom the Greeks and Romans identified with their 
Croons and Satm'n), Agathocles advanced from his fortified post 
at Tunes to the conquest of the cities on the eastern shore of the 
Carthaginian territory, the modern Regency of Tunis. The jealous 
policy of Carthage had secured her dependencies by no bond of 
mutual attachment ; and their rapid submission, to the number 
of 200, proved the instability of her empire. 

The enterprise of Agathocles had, however, failed to draw back 
the Carthaginians from Syracuse. Hamilcar pressed the siege, 
and showed the prow-ornaments of the ships of Agathocles as 
signs of his destruction. The city was almost in despair, when 
the truth was learned by the arrival of a messenger from Aga- 
thocles, and Hamilcar raised the siege, sending oflf a part of his 
forces to Africa. Some months later he returned to Syi'acuse at 
the head of 100,000 men, while his fleet blockaded the harbour. 
He attempted to hasten the operations by the very same manoeuvre, 
in which Demosthenes had failed a century before, a night sur- 
prise of the heights of Epipolse, which were now included in the 
line of fortifications. The assault utterly miscarried, and Hamilcar 
was taken prisoner ; thus falfilling, in a cross sense, the prediction 
of a soothsayer, that he should sup that night in Syracuse. That 
supper was his last. He was put to death with the most cruel 
tortures, and his head was sent over to Africa. But his fall, 
instead of restoring the supremacy of Agathocles in Sicily, gave 
the Greeks new hopes of freedom under the leadership of Agri- 
gentum ; and Syracuse remained blockaded by the Carthaginian 
fleet (B.C. 309). 

The news of Hamilcar's death found Agathocles posted at 
Tunes, while the Carthaginians were encamped between him and 
their city; and he hastened to display the head of Hamilcar 
before their eyes. But in this moment of triumph, the murder 
of an officer by his son Archagathus, in a drunken brawl, caused 
a mutiny in his camp. The piteous appeals of Agathocles not only 
brought back his soldiers to obedience, but evoked a new outburst 
of devotion, amidst which he led them on to a successful attack on 
the Punic camp ; and this was followed up by another victory over 
a Carthaginian force in the interior of the country (e.g. 308). 

Still his force was insufficient for the reduction of Carthage 
herself; and he invited aid from Ophelias, the governor of Cyrene, 
who had delivered that city from the incursion of an adventurer 
named Thimbron, after Alexander's death, and had reduced it 


beneath tlie government of Ptolemy I. Enticed by the promise 
of the sovereignty of Carthage when it should be subdued, 
Ophelias collected a body of 10,000 colonists j&'om all parts 
of Greece, and, with a like number of infantry, 600 cavalry, 
and 100 war-chariots, he performed the difficult march of two 
months along the sandy shores of the Syi*tes, to join Agathocles. 
His arrival seems at once to have inspired Agathocles with the 
hope of securing the aid of his forces, and getting rid of their 
commander and his claims. In an assembly of his own soldiers, 
he accused Ophelias of a plot against his life. The victim was 
despatched upon the spot, and his soldiers were cajoled or intimi- 
dated into submission. While this tragedy was acting, Cai'thage 
was in a state of ci^al war, through an attempt of Bomilcar to 
complete his treasonable designs. The plot was defeated, and 
Bomilcar was put to death with tortures ; but the opportunity was 
lost of attacking Agathocles dm-ing the confusion which followed 
the murder of Ophelias (b.c. SOY). 

With his forces thus increased, Agathocles subdued the old 
Phoenician settlements along the shore westward of Carthage, 
Utica, Hippo, and Hippagreta, the last within a few miles of 
Carthage, which was thus environed on both sides. It seemed 
that he might safely return to Sicily, where his affairs made no 
progress, though he had recently assumed the title of its king. 
He crossed over with 2000 men, leaving his son Archagathus to 
command in Africa, and landed at Selinus. His presence and 
activity at once turned the tide of events. Though Dinocrates, 
the leader of the Syracusan exiles, kept the field against him, the 
Agrigentines were twice defeated, and several cities were taken ; 
when Agathocles was recalled to AMca by disastrous news. His 
son had been twice defeated by the Carthaginians, and was now 
blockaded in the camp at Tunes ; the army was mutinous through 
wan^ of supplies and pay, and the Libyan allies, as well as the 
cities called Libyphoenician, from the mixed races that peopled 
them, had fallen off at the fii-st appearance of bad fortune. Aga- 
thocles saw no chance but the desperate one of a battle, though 
his forces were far inferior to the enemy, who refused to leave 
their intrenchments. The failm'e of his attack on the camp was 
followed by scenes as strange as have ever occupied the night after 
a battle. The Carthaginians were engaged in sacrificing the 
comeliest of their prisoners as a thank-offering to their gods, 
when the fire kindled for this hideous purpose spread a conflagra- 
tion through the whole camp, and the army dispersed in terror. 


But Agathocles was in no condition to profit by the accident. 
Despairing of holding his position in Africa, and unable to cany 
off his armv for want of vessels, he was stepping on board a ship 
to make a secret escape, when he was arrested bj the order of 
his son Archagathus, and put in chains. Even then his fortune 
did not fail him. On an alarm that the enemy were coming to 
attack the camp, Agathocles was hastily brought out by his guards 
to give his advice. The sight of their leader in his fetters recalled 
the devotion of his soldiers, who loudly demanded his release. 
Agathocles used his liberty to steal away in a skiff, which bore 
him safe through a Xovember storm to Sicily. His two sons were 
sacrificed to the fury of the deserted army, who purchased their 
personal safety by the surrender of all their conquests (b.c. 305). 

It is one of the most marvellous features in the romantic story 
of Agathocles, that, after a catastrophe like this, he smwived to 
renew his cruelties and victories in Sicily, and died in possession 
of his sovereignty. A peace with Carthage, and a victory over 
Dinocrates, who has been suspected of treachery, were followed 
by the restoration of Agathocles to the despotism of Syracuse, 
in conjunction with Dinocrates (b.c. 301). He recovered much 
of his empire in Sicily ; carried on successfiQ wars in the Lipari 
Isles, Italy, and Corcyra, where he gained a great naval victory 
over Cassander ; formed alliances with Demetrius Poliorcetes, and 
with PyiThus, to whom he gave his daughter in maniage ; and at 
the age of 72, he was planning a new expedition against Carthage. 
His proclamation of his favourite son, Agathocles, as his successor, 
was the signal for the rebellion of his grandson, Archagathus, who 
treacherously poisoned his uncle, and, according to one form of the 
story, his grandfather also. At all events, Agathocles fell sick, 
and had only time to send off his wife and young children to Alex- 
andria, when he died (b.c. 2S9). "We might be surprised to hear 
that Ms deathbed was surrounded by a circle of mourning friends, 
were we not told that, in common with others of the greatest 
scourges of mankind, he possessed the art of fascinating his asso- 
ciates and victims by a genial frankness of manner. His career, 
rightly studied, forms one of the most instructive episodes in the 
history of despotism. His extinction of his country's liberties is a 
warning of what may always be done by an unscrupulous adven- 
turer, wielding the engine of a mercenary soldiery, against a people 
that has lost the power of maintaining its liberties. His wonderftd 
fortune — to use the unmeaning language by which short-sighted 
men conceal from themselves the true causes of events — is an 


B.C. 273—212.] HEERO H. AND THE EOMANS. 125 

example of the extent to which the supreme moral government of 
the world grants success for a while to energetic wickedness, for 
the accomplishment of ends not seen as yet. The wonderful 
success of his African expedition, and its disastrous result, proved 
that the conquest of the great Semitic republic of Carthage was 
reserved for another power than the Greeks, and that the force of 
the Hellenic race had reached its limit towards the West. The 
death of Agathocles closes the history of the Grecian states in 
Sicily. While Syracuse and tlie other cities fell under the rule of 
successive despots, and were torn by intestine factions, they were 
only saved from Carthage by foreign aid. Campaigns against the 
Carthaginians in Sicily formed an episode of two years and a half 
in the Itahan war of Pyrrhus (b.c. 278 to e.g. 276). 

On his departure, the government of Syracuse fell into the 
hands of Hiero II., who claimed descent from Gelo, the founder 
of the ancient dynasty (b.c. 275). His war with the Mamertines 
of Messana (b.c. 270) was the cause of calling in the Eomans, 
who, in the long and fierce conflict of the first Punic War (b.c. 
264 to B.C. 2-il) wrested the northern and western parts of the 
island from Carthage, while they left Hiero to govern the south- 
east and Syi-acuse, with a wisdom and mildness which surpassed 
the magnificence of his great namesake, till his death at the age 
of 92 (b.c. 216). The rash boy, Hieronymus, who succeeded him 
at the age of fifteen, abandoned his grandfather's long fidelity to 
Pome ; paying the penalty in his own speedy assassination (b.c. 
215), and involving Syracuse in the celebrated siege, which ended 
in its capture by MarceUus, and the reduction of Sicily to a Poman 
province (b.c. 212). The details of these events belong to the 
history of Pome. 

There still remain certain outlying members of the Hellenic 
race whose subsequent destiny it would be interesting to trace ; 
but, with one exception, none of them have any important bearing 
on the general history of the world. That exception is the Pho- 
caean colony of Massalia {Marceilles), with it* dependencies on the 
coasts of Gaul and Spain.* Maintauiiag its ground against the 
jealousy and hostility of the Carthaginians and the Tyn-henians, 
this great commercial city diffused the civilization which the 
Romans found already distinguishing the " Province " from the 
rest of Gaul. The Massaliots preserved their municipal inde- 
pendence and their Hellenic institutions by an alliance with Pomej 
and the city became a great seat of Greek learning. 

* See Vol I. p. 365. 


The loss of liberty produces a more rapid effect on literature 
than on art; unless we should rather say that the decline of 
original vigour in the former is a symptom of the decay of that 
manly energy by which freedom itself is maintained. Art, on the 
other hand, can long suiwive the benumbing influence of despotism, 
and may even seem to gain new energy by its patronage. It was 
under such patronage that painting was perfected by Apelles, and 
the art of statuary in bronze by Lysippus, both the favourite 
artists of Alexander. 

As for literature, it seems scarcely in the nature of things, that 
the supreme excellence of the three great Attic tragedians should 
have been continued through a second generation, even had the 
same stimulus continued, of the Athenians flocking to keep the 
festivals of Dionysus in all the conscious pride of liberty. They 
had, indeed, elegant imitators in such poets as Agathon, the friend 
of Euripides, lophon, the son of Sophocles, and the younger 
Sophocles, his grandson; and tragedies continued to be written 
long after the true dramatic spirit had evaporated. 

Still more needful was " freedom's caller air " to such comedies 
as those of Aristophanes, which were always regarded by a party 
at Athens as a dangerous licence. Repeated attempts were made 
to check the freedom of the Old Comedy, which received fatal 
blows from the aristocratic revolution of b.c. 411, and the eleva- 
tion of the Thirty Tyrants. Some of the later plays of Aristo- 
phanes himself belong to the Middle Comedy — so called because 
it is regarded as a transition from the Old Comedy to the New — a 
form in which such satire as was still indulged in was levelled less 
at individuals than at classes, manners, opinions, and fashions in 
literature and philosophy ; while the satiric spirit itself gradually 
merged into mere burlesque, the favourite subjects of which were 
taken from mythology. The part of the chorus was, at the same 
time, greatly restricted, and at last dispensed with altogether. 
The slight interest which now belongs to the Middle Comedy, and 
the paucity of its fragments, form a strange contrast to the fertility 
of its writers. Athenseus tells us that he had read 800 plays of 
the Middle Comedy ; and of its two chief poets, Antiphanes (b.c. 
404 — 330) is said to have wi-itten as many dramas as there are 
days in the year, and Alexis (b.c. 394 — 288) no less than two 
hundred and forty-five. 

The great age of the latter poet brings him far within the 
period of the ]^ew Comedy, which arose at Athens about the 
beginning of the Macedonian supremacy. The personal and 


political satire of tlie Old Comedy had not only become danger- 
ous, but its spirit had died out with the loss of political freedom. 
The interest once inspired by politics was thrown back into the 
sphere of domestic Kfe ; and the vicissitudes of fortune, caused 
by protracted wars, created many a romance within the circle of 
a family. The comic poet, no longer assuming to be the censor 
of the state and her great men, but making the amusement 
of the audience his one object, chose his subjects from the 
manners and intrigues of ordinary society and domestic life. 
The founder of this style was Philomen, a native of Soli in 
Cilicia, who was bom about b.c. 360, and lived nearly a hundred 
years. He began to exhibit at Athens about e.g. 330, and was 
the author of ninety-seven plays. Still more celebrated, though 
less successful in the dramatic contests — for he won only eight 
prizes with more than one hundred plays — is Mexaxdee of 
Athens, whose polished wit seems to have had too much of gentle 
elegance for the taste of his contemporaries. The extant frag- 
ments are altogether inadequate to give us an idea of the plots 
and spirit of Menander's comedies; but they are full of those 
clever and pointed maxims,* suited for quotation, which abound 
in all the Greek dramatic poetry. In these Gnoriiio passages we 
see the influence of Epicurus and Theophrastus, with both of 
whom Menander lived in close intimacy. He was himself a 
thorough Epicurean, not only in the principles of the school, but 
in the habits into which it soon degenerated. The I^ew Comedy 
was imitated by Plautus and Terence among the Romans, and 
their plays have transmitted its form, with much of its spirit, to 
the stage of modem Europe. Terence especially aimed at repro- 
ducing the elegant wit of Menander, with a degree of success 
attested by his lasting popularity, and yet far inferior to his 
origin al.f 

In prose literature, the chief works of the age are those of the 
Attic orators and philosophers. We have already seen how, out 
of the early schools of philosophy, there arose a class of teachers 
who, without abandoning the higher fields of speculation, made it 
their business to train the youth of Athens in those practical arts 
of rhetoric and dialectics which were required for the public 
assembly and the courts of law. The Sophists may therefore be 

* Called by the Greeks yvufiai^ aentimenis. 

\ The epithet applied by Caesar to Terence — dimidiate Menander — unquestion- 
ably implies this inferiority, though its primary reference is no doubt to Terence's 
practice of combining two plays of Menander's into one. 


regarded as, in a sense, the parents both of philosophy and 
rhetoric ; but the demand for the latter, as an art, threatened to 
draw off attention from the former, when Socrates arose to teach 
philosophy in a new spirit. The fruit of the rhetorical teaching 
of the Sophists, but still more of the free institutions of Athens, 
was seen in the long line of orators, fi'om Pericles, the pupil of 
Anaxagoras, to Demosthenes and his contemporaries. Ten of 
these Attic Oeatoks were selected as the worthiest by the Alex- 
andrian critics, who have handed down to us some of their orations. 
They are Antiphon and Andocides, whom we have met with in the 
latter part of the Peloponnesian "War ; Lysias, the greatest master 
of the pure Attic style ; Isteus and Isocrates, who were especially 
distinguished as professors of rhetoric ; Demosthenes and ^schines, 
and their contemporaries, Lycm*gus, Hyperides, and Dinarchus. 
The discussion of their literary merits and their extant works must 
be left to the special histories of literatm-e. 

Still less does the vast field of the history of philosophy fall 
witliin our province. It must suffice to indicate the celebrated 
schools which arose out of the teaching of Socrates, the great 
master who first separated philosophy fi*om the rhetorical and 
dialectic lectures of the Sophists. The four great schools were 
the Academic, founded by Plato ; the Peripatetic, by Aristotle ; 
the Stoic, by Zeno ; the Epicurean, by Epicurus. While the 
teaching of all four embraced questions both of ethics and 
philosophy — the latter term comprising every branch of human 
knowledge — the two former sects were chiefly distinguished by 
their intellectual, the two latter by their moral teaching. And, in 
both cases, the leading points of difference may be traced more or 
less in all later systems : every school of philosophy leans either 
to the idealism of Plato or the analytic method of Aristotle : every 
system of ethics partakes largely of the Stoic self-sacrifice or the 
Epicurean quest of the highest pleasure as the chiefest good. 
Among the minor sects, which sprang from the school of 
Socrates, the two most celebrated were those which may be re- 
garded as the extreme developments of the principles of Epicu- 
reanism and Stoicism, though anterior to them in thefr founda- 
tion — the Cyrenaic school of Aristippus, who placed the source of 
happiness in the gratification of the senses ; and the Cynic school 
of Antisthenes, who taught his disciples to despise not only the 
indulgences but the decencies of life. We have already had to 
speak of the most famous member of this school, Diogenes of 


\ <> ir 


rf.<^ 1 1' 

T (■ I 

', 1- 







Vol. II.— 9. 







" Italia, too, Italia ! looking on thee. 
Full flashes on the soul the light of ages, 
Since the fierce Carthaginian almost won thee, 
To the last halo of the chiefs and sages 
Who glorify thy consecrated pages : 
Thou wert the throne and grave of empires ; still 
The fount at which the panting mind assuages 
Her thirst of knowledge, quaffing there her fill, 

Flows from the eternal source of Rome's imperial hill." — Byron. 






The power wMch was destined at length to raise an universal 
empire on tlie ruins of the eastern monarchies, of the free states of 
Greece, and of the commercial oligarchy of Carthage, combined in 
itself the strongest points of the systems that it superseded. A 
material force, if not so vast, yet truly greater than that wielded 
by any oriental despot, was regulated by political principles, of 
which a regard for law was the most conspicuous, and all was 
consolidated by the mighty bond of an aristocratic government 
based on a patriarchal foundation. If the Hellenic republics were 
fitted to give the freest scope to personal and political liberty, the 
polity of Pome was an instrument specially adapted to achieve 
imperial power abroad by subordinating individual freedom to the 
concentrated action of the state. This mighty power was purchased 
at the price of an internal struggle, which, when it had once 
broken out, became perpetual, between the privileges of the ruling 
class, often abused to the most selfish ends, and the claims of the 
lower orders to personal freedom and pohtical power. Just when 
the conquest of the countries which form the seat of ancient civili- 
zation — the countries lying round the basin of the Mediterranean 
— was completed, this internal conflict was brought to its crisis by 


the utter corruption of the state through the plunder of the world. 
Under a single ruler the government of the empire was consoli- 
dated, from the borders of Caledonia and the banks of the Rhine 
and Danube to the Libyan Desert and the cataracts of the j^ile : 
and the barbarian tribes, that had long been pressing down from 
regions as yet beyond the pale of civilization, were kept at bay, 
till the work of difiusing Christianity throughout the Roman 
world was completed. Then the empire and classic paganism 
fell together; and the deluge of nations that overflowed them 
settled down into the new order of the modem world. 

To comprehend rightly the origin of this power, we must not be 
content to take our stand upon the Seven Hills of Rome, and to 
look round upon Italy, as if it were a foreign country, to be 
gradually brought under the sway of the new city. It is neces- 
sary at first to regard Rome from the Italian point of view rather 
than Italy from the Roman. ]!!s^ay more, in speaking of Italy, 
even as " a geographical expression," we must greatly modify our 
present conception of its meaning. Fitted as the peninsula, with 
its large adjacent island, is to form one great state, from the 
Alps to the Adriatic, the Ionian, and the African seas, and ardent 
as must be the hopes of every friend of human progress to see it 
thus united, the consummation is a vision of the future, not a 
tradition of the early past. As a strictly ethnic term, the country 
of the Itali, or Siceli, or Siculi (for the words are varieties of one)* 
were confined to Sicily and the southern half of the peninsula ; 
and even in the wider meaning, in which it embraced several other 
tribes, it could not be extended, in any proper sense, north of the 
Apennines, t 

As in the case of Greece, the physical formation of the peninsula 
had a marked influence on the political relations of its inhabitants. 
It resembles Greece in projecting far out into the waters of the 
Mediterranean, upheld by central highlands ; but the highlands of 
Italy do not ramify, like those of Greece, into a network of ridges, 
cutting up the whole country into valleys comparatively isolated, 
nor do their extremities run out into the sea so as to form the 

* The interchange of the hard mutes, c and t, and the loss of the initial a — ^both 
among the commonest changes in language — account for the difference. Sicdi and 
Siculi are Greek and Latin varieties. The old Italian tradition, which derives the 
name of the peninsula from a K^irig Yitalus, or Titulus, serves to show that the 
word began ■with a consonant. 

f The name acquired this wider meaning after the conquest of the Italian states 
by the Romans, about b.c. 264. It was not till the time of Augustus that it was 
made to include the whole region up to the Alps. 


deeply indented coast-line and chains of islands, whicli made the 
Greeks of necessity a race of adventurous mariners. The moun- 
tains of the Italian peninsula form one great continuous chain ; 
their slopes and valleys spread out into more extensive and con- 
nected spaces : the coast-line, though long, is very regular, undu- 
lating in wide bays rather than deep gulfs. These differences will 
be more clearly seen from a description of the whole peninsula, 
with the vast plain which stretches across its head, and which, 
though not properly a part of ancient Italy, has always been closely 
connected with its history. 

Viewed in this wider sense, the land of Italy is the western 
division of that beautifal region of Southern Europe, which is 
enclosed in so marked a way by the gigantic chain of the Alps and 
its prolongations eastward to the Black Sea. These mountains, 
the grand passes of which are ascended by a long and gradual 
slope from the north side, sink down abruptly on the south, as if 
to form a rampart about the fair lands at their feet. This sudden 
descent upon the southern side forms one of the chief charms of 
that first passage over the Alpine chain, which marks an epoch in 
the traveller's life, when 

" He instantly receives into his soul 
A sense, a feeling, that he loses not — 
A something that informs him 'tis an hour 
Whence he may date henceforward and forever." 

The chain, so venerable for its towering height and the diadem of 
perpetual snow, from which it receives its name,* results from 
the most recent of the great upheavings by which our continent 
has been formed. The primitive rocks have burst through all the 
superincumbent strata, to give the crowning beauty to the face of 
the country, in such ranges as those of Scandinavia, the western 
mountains of our own islands, of Brittany, and the Spanish penin- 
sula, the Atlas in Africa, and the Pyrenees, Alps, Apennines and 
Balkan on the opposite shores of the Mediterranean basin. The 
primitive chain of the High Alps has been thrown up in that 
remarkable curve which encloses the great plain of Northern 
Italy. On both its flanks lie those great secondary strata, of 
which the most conspicuous is the "Jura limestone," so called 

* Alp is generally supposed to be the root so common in Celtic (as in Albion^ 
Albany, &c.), and which also appears in the Latin albtis and alba, signifying while. 
Singularly enough, however, the name Alp is applied in Switzerland, not to the high 
mountains (which are called horns, peaks, needles, &c., or by the figurative names of 
Giaid, Monk, Virgin, &c.), but to the upland pastures of comparatively moderate 
elevation, such as the Wengern Alp. 


from tlie great chain which faces the Alps across the plain of 
northwestern Switzerland, and forms a member of the system. 
Along the northern side of the plain of Lombardj, the chain 
extends through Switzerland and the Tyrol, as far as the " Great 
Bellman " {Gross Glockner) near the source of the Drave, whence 
one branch pursues its course to Yienna, and connects itself 
beyond the Danube with the Carpathians, while another branch, 
turning to the southeast close round the head of the Adriatic, is 
prolonged along the lUyrian coast, and then down the whole 
peninsula of Greece, after it has thrown off the great chain which 
reaches the Danube under the name of Hsemus, or the Balkan. 
Ketuming to the western extremity of the chain at Mont Blanc, 
we trace it southward to the sources of the Yar, where it bends to 
the east round the Gulf of Genoa, and is then continued in the 
chain of the Apennines. 

Neither in direction nor in geological character is there any 
marked transition from the Maritime Alps to the Apennines. 
Some geographers place the division at the natural depression in 
the chain, above Savonia ; others farther down the western shore 
of the Gulf of Genoa, at the bold headland of the Cajpo delle Melle. 
At first the Apennines pursue their course eastward, but slightly 
verging to the south, almost parallel to the Po, as if to meet the 
shore of the Adriatic. The secondary strata, which form a part 
of the system, bordered by a narrow belt of tertiary formation, do 
in fact reach the opposite shore, in the neighbourhood of Arimi- 
num [Rimini, 44° 10' IST. lat.), marking the physical boundary 
between the true peninsula of Italy and the alluvial basin of the 
Po, which is thus enclosed within the mighty sweep of the Alps 
and Apennines, except on the east, where it lies open to the 
Adriatic, on the waters of which it is constantly encroaching.* 
It was in agreement with this physical division, that the political 
boundary between Italy and Cisalpine Gaul was placed at the 
petty, but ever memorable river Rubicon. From about the same 
latitude, the Apennine chain itself turns off to the southeast, and 
forms the backbone of the peninsula. About the same point, the 
primitive rocks cease to rise above the surface, only reappearing 
near the centre of the peninsula, in the ancient Sabine territory, 
and again in the " toe " of the " boot," to which Italy bears so 

* Our map exhibits the change made in the coast-line by the alluvial deposits of 
the Po, the Adige, the Piave, and the lesser streams which flow down from the Camic 
Alps. As compared with the ancient state of things, Venice is, literally, " a city in 
the sea." 


curious a resemblance, and on tlie opposite point of Sicily, from 
Messina down to Etna. The " heel " is formed by a lower range, 
in which tertiary deposits predominate. The prevalence of the 
secondary formations, and chiefly of the later limestones, gives to 
the chain a character altogether different from the pointed peaks 
of the primitive Alps and Pyrenees, or the battlemented escarp- 
ments of the ancient limestone of the Jura. The highest summit, 
Monte Como (the ancient Cunarus), east of Aquila, reaches little 
above 9500 feet, and, though another mountain in the Sabine 
territory boasted the name of Nivosus {snoioy), the limit of per- 
petual snow, in the mild climate of Italy, does not embrace the 
highest summits of the Apennines. There are few parts in which 
vegetation does not reach quite, or almost, to the tops of the 
mountains, whose smoothly rounded forms, and easy passes, form 
no difficult obstacle to human intercourse or even habitation, while 
their remoter recesses, especially where the ancient limestone and 
granite break out, as in the Abruzzi and Calal)ria, have always 
secured fastnesses for the wilder tribes of ancient times — such as 
those in the Sabine and Samnite territory — and for the brigands of 
later days. The great tertiary plains, which slope down on both 
sides of the chain, and in its great southern fork, watered by 
innumerable streams, and by some considerable rivers — as the 
Arno, Tiber, and several others — clothed with exuberant fertility, 
except where the rivers have been permitted to form pestilential 
marshes, and varied by undulating hills — seem provided by 
nature for the abode of great peoples, with their " tower'd cities " 
and " the busy hum of men," till some one, stronger than the 
rest in arms or influence, should unite all into a powerful state. 
The most remarkable of these plains are those of Etruria, Latium, 
and Northern Campania in the west, Apulia in the east (stretch- 
ing down from the "sjpur" of Mount Garganus), and that of 
Lucania in the south, opening on to tlie great Gulf of Tarentum. 
Both physically and politically, the island of Sicily forms as 
natural an appendage of Italy, as the " Island of Pelops " does of 
Greece, the Isthmus of the latter being replaced in the former by 
the nari'ow strait or " rent," which gave a name to the town of 
Ehegium.* Its central mountains, which are a prolongation of 
the Apennines, are bordered, especially on the south and east, by a 
tertiary belt of unsurpassed fertility, which has already engaged 
our attention as the seat of great Hellenic cities. The great plains 
and grassy hill-sides of the whole peninsula, give it capabilities, 
* 'Vijytav signifies a rent. 


vastly superior to those of Greece, for agriculture and pastorage ; 
and Sicily was especially the home of shepherds and their pastoral 

But Italy was as conspicuously inferior to Greece in facilities 
for maritime intercourse and adventure. Though possessed of so 
vast a coast-line, she is singularly wanting both in harbom'S, and 
in those off-lying islands, which formed invaluable stepping-stones 
to the timid navigation of early ages. But this very defect may 
be regarded as a natural argument for her political unity, that so 
the few good harbours may be enjoyed by all the peoples of the 
peninsula. A similar argument is ftu'nished by the very fact which 
is sometimes used on the other side — the great length of the land 
as compared with its width. The distance from Mont Blanc to 
Cape Spartivento exceeds YOO miles ; and while the width of the 
northern alluvial plain is about 350 miles, that of the peninsula 
itself does not average above 100. The ease and completeness of 
the interruption made in the intercourse necessary to the welfare 
of such a country by the existence of independent states, reaching 
across it like barriers, even if their governments were tolerable in 
themselves — would be an intolerable evil. The absurd platitude, 
that Italy is condemned thus to suffer by some mysterious neces- 
sity, is sufficiently refuted by her unity under the Eoman domi- 
nation. The causes which have subjected her to this evil, in every 
other age, are among the most interesting enquiries in the History 
of the World. 

As the above outline of the physical geography of Italy is 
intended solely to throw light upon the history of its populations, 
it is not necessary to describe in detail one of the most striking of 
its natural characteristics, the great volcanic belt which extends 
along a large part of its western shore, culminating in Vesuvius, 
and reaching by way of the Lipari Isles to Sicily and Etna — the 
region assigned by ancient fable to the punishment of the giant 
Typhosus ; 

" Turn sonitu Prochyta alta tremit, durumque cubile 
Inarime, Jovis imperils imposta TyphcEO." * 

Nor is it worth while to dilate on matters so weU known as the 
delicious climate and the exuberant fertility of the peninsula. 

A writer, who has recently made an invaluable contribution to 
the history of Rome, has acutely observed a point of connection 
between the configuration and the destinies of the peninsulas of 

* Virgil, Mn, ix. 715, 716. The passage is imitated from Homer (TL ii. 783) with a 
strange confusion of the localities. 


Greece and Italy : — " "WTiile the Grecian peninsula turns towards 
the east, the Italian turns towards the west. As the coasts of 
Epirus and Acarnania had but a subordinate importance in the 
case of Hellas, so had the Apulian and Messapian coasts in that 
of Italy ; and, while the regions on which the historical develop- 
ment of Greece has been mainly dependent — Attica and Macedonia 
— ^look to the east, Etruria, Latium, and Campania look to the 
west. In this way, the two peninsulas, such close neighbours and 
almost sisters, stand, as it were, averted from each other. Although 
the naked eye can discern from Otranto to the Acroceraunian 
mountains, the Italians and Hellenes came into earlier and closer 
contact on every other pathway rather than on the nearest across 
the Adriatic sea. In their case, too, as has happened so often, the 
historical vocation of the nations was prefigured in the relations 
of the ground which they occupied ; the two great stocks, on 
which the civilization of the ancient world grew, threw their 
shadow, as well as their seed, the one towards the east, the other 
towards the west." * 

The very interesting but diflacult question, concerning the 
primitive inhabitants of Italy, was first discussed in a scientific 
spirit by Niebuhr. The population of Italy has always been one 
of the most mixed in the whole world. Neither the names of the 
tribes scattered over the peninsula, nor the ancient traditions 
respecting them, afibrd us any certain information. Our only 
trustworthy guide is the science of comparative grammar ; but the 
aid it furnishes is limited by our very slight knowledge of the 
languages of ancient Italy. 'No trace is found in the peninsula of 
that primitive population (probably Turanian) which was spread 
over the north of Europe at a period when civiHzation was in such 
a backward state, that iron implements were unknown, and which 
has therefore been called the Age of Stone. Such relics as remain 
of the earliest Italian tribes attest their knowledge of the arts of 
agriculture and metal-working. It is clearly ascertained that all 
the populations, of which we have any distinct trace, were of the 
Indo-European family ; and they may be divided into three princi- 
pal stocks; — the lapygian, the Etruscan, and the Italian,f the 

* Mommsen, History of Eome, translated by the Rev. W. P. Dickson, vol. i. p. 6. 
It is proper to acknowledge, thus early, our great obligations to Dr. Mommsen's admira- 
ble work. 

\ In this classification, which has been introduced by Mommsen, it should be ob- 
served that the term Italian is used in a difiFerent sense from that already described ; 
namely, with an historical signification, to describe the races that chiefly peopled the 
Italy of the Romans. 


last being subdivided into the Latin and TJmbrian, and the second 
of these subdivisions including several tribes of Central Italy, as 
the Umbri, Marsi, Yolsci, and Samnites. 

Peninsulas, such as Greece, Italy, and Spain, backed up on the 
one side by mountains, and offering on all other sides an extensive 
line of coast, have been of course peopled either from the land or 
from the sea. There are certain natural conditions which help to 
show in which direction the stream of immigration is most likely 
to have flowed ; and a guide is also furnished by the successive 
waves of population which have passed over the same land in the 
period of recorded history. In the cases of Greece and Spain, the 
islands of the Archipelago and the narrow straits of Gibraltar 
afford facilities for access from Asia and Africa respectively, which 
do not exist in the case of Italy, unless it be across the mouth of 
the Adriatic. But decisive arguments are presented against the 
last hypothesis by the width of the straits between the coasts of 
Epirus and Apulia, by the dangers of the passage — proverbial 
among the ancients down to a late period — by the absence of any 
evidence that the earliest inhabitants of either coast were a sea- 
faring people, and by the fact that the historical settlements in 
Magna Grsecia were made in almost every direction rather than in 
this. On the other hand, the glorious climate of Italy, and the rich 
fertility of the great Subalpine plain, have in all ages attracted the 
tribes of the less favom-ed north through the passes of the Alps. 

If then we assume the probability of successive immigrations 
by the same route in the prehistoric times, we shall expect to find 
the earliest inhabitants pressed down to the south of the peninsula. 
It is here, in fact, that we find traces of the Iapygian race, in the 
peninsula called by the Greeks Messapia, and in modem times 
Calabria, the " toe " of Italy, as well as in the " heel," or Apulia.* 
Their numerous inscriptions, in a dialect more nearly akin to the 
Greek than to the other languages of the Italian peninsula, and 
often exhibiting the very names of the Greek deities, suggest the 
probability that they belonged to that great Pelasgic family which 
peopled both peninsulas in the earliest ages, and which, if not the 
actual parent of the Hellenic race, was very near to it in kindred. 
This race was characterized by an unwarlike simplicity, which gave 
ground before its own hardier and more warlike scions, as, in its 

* It was to this "heel" that the Greeks applied the name of lapygia, of which, ac- 
cording to their custom, they gave a genealogical derivation, from lapyx, who was be- 
lieved to have led a Cretan colony into Italy ; for in this way did they accomit for the 
presence in that region of a race kindred to their own. 




own mythology, Saturn was expelled by Jove.* In Greece, it 
remained comparatively undistm'bed in Epirus, and in other parts 
it was driven back into the mountain fastnesses ; while, on the less 
intricate surface of Italy, it seems to have been forced back in 
mass towards the south. The close connection of this lapygian 
race with the earliest Greeks may help to account for the ease with 
which the Hellenic settlements were made in Magna Grsecia. 
The relations of the lapygians with the Siculi is a question not 
yet determined. 

The two branches of the great Italian race, which occupied the 
central part of the peninsula, have left us much more distinct 
traces of their nationality in the peculiar forms of their languages, 
which exhibit a clearly marked difference from the Greeks and 
lapygians, on the one hand, and from the Etruscans on the other ; 
while the points of resemblance are sufficient to establish an 
affinity with the Greek nearer than with any other of the Indo- 
Germanic languages. The fact, so important to be clearly appre- 
hended, in the study of language as well as history, that Greek 
and Latin are but dialects of one common tongue, was vaguely 
recognized in the guessing attempts to derive certain words in the 
one language from the other, before comparative grammar became 
a science. It is not, however, the province of the historian to 
enter into the details of the argument by which the affinity of the 
two languages has been accurately established. 

The Greeks themselves recognized the miity of the Italian races, 
to the exclusion of the lapygian and Etruscan, by applying to 
them collectively the name of Ojyici, which is only another form 
of Osd, just as the Latins included all the branches of the 
Hellenic race under the common name of Graeci.f The parallel 
has been carried so far as to suggest a comparison between the 
division of the Hellenes into the Ionian and Dorian races with 
that of the Italians into two great branches, the eastern and the 
western, and of these the western is represented, in historic times, 
by the Latin nation ; the eastern by the Umbrians, Sabines, 
Marsi, Yolsci or Ausones, and other tribes, which extended from 
the northeastern coast down into Southern Latium and Cam- 
pania. The last-named district seems to have been of old the 

* This comparison is more than a mere figure ; for the plain of Apulia was the fabled 
refuge of Saturn, where he reigned in the golden age of pastoral simplicity ; and hence 
Italy received its poetical name of " Satumia tellus." 

\ The Atisones or Aurunci of Campania and Southern Latium, bear a Greek namo 
etymologically identical with the native VoUci and probably with Osci. 


chief seat of the Oscans ; and here their language was preserved, 
both as a popular dialect, and in the farces known at Eome as the 
Fabulae AteUanae.* These eastern Italians are again subdivided 
into two chief branches, a northern and a southern, the former 
embracinir the peoples of Umbria, the latter those included under 
the name of Oscans in its widest sense, and, after thev had ceased 
to be a people, represented chiefly bv the Samnites. Hence the 
two branches of the Italian race are distinguished by the names 
of Latin and UrrJji'o-Samnite or SabeUian.\ The former branch 
gave origin to the Eoman state, which now becomes the central 
point of our history ; but, before describing its rise, a few words 
must be added concerning the other chief people of the Italian 

At their junction with the Maritime Alps, the Apennines 
enclose the beautiful Rioiera, or coast terrace, round the head of 
the Gulf of Genoa, the Liguria of the ancients ; + and then from 
the line of the river Macra (Magra. at 9° E. long., mouth about 
44^ X. lat.), their bold sweep surrounds the magnificent country, 
which has always borne one of the names of the race we have now 
to speak of Physically, indeed, the region is bounded by that 
branch of the chain which runs southward towards Cape CirceUi 
(the ancient promontory of Circe), along the eastern margin of 
the vaUey of the Tiber ; but, from the foundation of Eome, this 
river divided Etruria from Latium. The Apennines shelter this 
country on the north and east, and their lateral chains diversiiy 
its surface with wooded heights and sweeping valleys, watered by 

* These plajs derived their name from the city of Atella in Campania. 

f More will be said of this race when we come to speak of the Samnite ware. 

\ The Ligurians, or, in Greek, Ligyes, were a very ancient people of uncertain 
race Some suppose them to have been Celts, others Iberians, and others a branch 
of the Sicnli or earliest Italians. They were known to the Greeks from very early 
times, doubtless through the Phocaean mariners, who traded to the gulfs of Genoa 
and Lyons, and founded Marseilles. Hesiod and ^schylus mention them as visited 
and fought against by Hercules ; and the latter poet incidentally shows his acquaint- 
ance with the advance of the delta of the Rhone, a proof that he is not dealing with 
mere vague names. At that early age, the Ligurians appear to have spread round the 
whole coast from the Pyrenees to the mouth of theAmo, and to have extended in- 
land far beyond the Alps. In later times they were driven back by the Gauls to the 
Maritime Alps and the Apennines, and the coast below, round the head of the Gulf 
of Goioa. Here they became famous as warlike moimtaineers, of small stature, but 
hardy and active, and admirably qualified for light troops. In this capacity they 
served the Carthaginians, and, after the close of the Second Punic War, they long re- 
sisted the efforts of the Romans to subdue them. It was only by the removal of many 
of them to Samnium, and by the plantation of Roman colonies, that their country 
was thoroughly pacified. 


the Amo, the confluents of the Tiber, and the intervening rivers. 
Of such valleys we may find types, celebrated by the poets, in the 
Sabine retreat of Horace, 

" Or in Val d'Amo, where the Etrurian shades 
High overarch' d, embower." 

This fair region was once, in all probability, divided between the 
Ligurians and the old Siculian or lapygian inhabitants of Italy ; 
but in the historic times, it was the home of the people who 
called themselves Eas, Rasena, or Rasenna, but were named by 
the Greeks Tyrseni^ or Tyrrheni^ by the Latins Tusci^ or Eirusci, 
and their land Etruria.^ Their origin and early growth forms 
one of the most interesting and difficult problems of antiquity. 
A supposed oriental element, of which, however, even some 
ancient writers denied the existence, in their customs and institu- 
tions, gave rise, as we have before seen,f to the fable that the 
ancient Lydian king, Tyrsenus, had led a colony from Etruria ; 
and the theory that they came by sea from the east has found 
advocates in modem times. But it is far more probable that 
their origin is to be sought beyond the Alps. It seems certain 
that, as early as the foundation of Kome, the Etruscans were a 
very powerful people, extending from the Alps over the plain of 
Lombardy and the western part of Italy, as far to the south as 
Vesuvius. At the northern limit of this wide region, the central 
chain of the Alps (in the Griscms and Tyrol) was occupied by the 
Rhsetians, a name very similar to Kasenna; and ancient tradi- 
tions represent the Rhaetians as a branch of the Etruscans, driven 
back into the Alps, when the mass of the nation were expelled 
from the plain of Northern Italy by the Gauls. It seems very 
probable that the tradition, as often happens, has only inverted 
the true order of the movement, and that the Rhaetians were 
(and, to some extent, still are) the representatives of the old 
Easenna, in or near their ancient seats. We have the testimony 
of Livy, whose native city, Patavium {Padua), was not far fi'om 
the Rheetic Alps, that the Rhsietian language closely resembled 
the Etruscan ; and singular likenesses have been traced between 
the existing local names in Rhsetia and those of ancient Etruria. 

* The Greek and Latin names are essentially the same, the apparent dififerences be- 
ing due to the prosthetic vowel, and to the softening of the sibilant and its attendant 
mute. The original form seems to be that preserved in an old Umbrian inscription, Turs- 
cus (Lepsius, Inser, Umb. tab. i. b.). In the name Hasenna, the root is Has, the enna be- 
ing a gentile termination ; which is seen also in such names as Pors-enna, Maec-enas, Yiv- 
enna, &c. The Greek name Tura-eni seems to have the same termination. 

t VoL L p. 252, 


But the Rasenna alone did not form the Etruscan nation. It 
appears that a branch of the great Pelasgic race, who were the 
earliest known inhabitants of the whole region to the south of 
the Alps and the Balkan — a branch which had made greater pro- 
gress than the rest in civilization and power — crossed the Alps 
and Apennines, and drove out the Umbrians from the region along 
the western coast, as the latter had previously driven out the 
lapygians; and that these Tyrrhenian Pelasgians were in turn 
subdued by the powerful Rasenna, who descended from the Alps. 
The Rasenna did not expel the Tyrrhenians, but formed a domi- 
nant aristocracy, like the IS'ormans in England. From the amal- 
gamation of the conquerors with the conquered, seems to have 
sprung the great nation of the Etruscans, whose high civilization 
and maritime power is one of the earliest known facts of Euro- 
pean history. 

Unfortunately the problem of their origin derives little aid 
from the powerful instrument of comparative philology, not for 
want of considerable remains of their language, but because the 
efforts to decipher their sepulchral inscriptions have been attended 
with scarcely any success. The great obstacle seems to be the 
want of close affinity to any known language. " The Etruscans," 
says Dionysius, "are like no other nation in language and 
manners." There seem, however, to be isolated elements in the 
Etruscan language closely akin to the Greek, and others like 
the Umbrian ; thus representing the Pelasgian Tyrrhenians and 
the Umbrians, whom they are said to have displaced ; while the 
bulk of the language, quite distinct from both these, and from the 
whole Graeco-Latin family, is supposed to represent the dialect 
of the conquering Rasenna. If the opinion recently advanced 
should be confirmed by further researches — that this Rasennic 
element is akin to the Scandinavian dialects — we should be 
brought to the deeply interesting result, that an infusion of 
Gothic blood gave its wonted stimulus to the greatness of the 
Etruscans, and that the Lombard plain was peopled to a great 
extent in the most ancient as in modem times, by the fair-haired 

For let their origin have been what it may, their ancient power 
and civilization are unquestionable facts. In the earliest ages of 
European history, they overspead the whole plain of ISTorthern 

* The phrase is mtroduced, not as an ornamental epithet, but from actual observation 
of the extent to which light hair, especially among the children, still bears witness to 
the Gothic element in the population of Lombardy, 


Italy,* where remnants of the Etruscan population were left, after 
the nation had been expelled by the Gauls, as for example 
at Mantua ; and other important cities were of Etruscan origin. 
Among these was the port of Adria,f which, by giving its name 
to the Adi'iatic, has borne witness, down to the present day, of 
the maritime power of the Etruscans in the eastern sea ; while 
on the opposite side of the peninsula, they gave their own name 
to the Tyrrhenian or Tuscan Sea. Their naval enterprise is 
constantly referred to in Greek poetry and history. The colonies 
in Magna Grsecia and Sicily were harassed by Tyrrhenian pirates ; 
and in b.c. 538, they joined the Carthaginians, with sixty ships, 
in the great sea fight with the Phoceeans off Alalia in Corsica.:}: 
They were leagued with the Carthaginians by treaties of commerce 
and navigation, with the view of preserving their empire in the 
"Western Mediterranean against the maritime enterprises of the 
Greeks. Meanwhile, they had extended their power by land 
southwards as far as Campania, where, as well as in Central 
Etruria, they founded a confederacy of twelve cities, among which 
were Capua (which they called Vultumum), and probably Pompeii, 
Herculaneum, and other cities on the coast.§ Here they came into 
conflict with the Greek cities, about b.c. 500, the epoch of their 
greatest ascendancy ; but they did not succeed in reducing them. 
They made a great attack on CumEe in b.c. 525 ; and again in 
B.C. 474, when Hiero of Syi'acuse, called in to the aid of the 
Cumseans, totally defeated the combined fleets of the Carthaginians 
and Etruscans. This was a great blow to the maritime power of 
the latter people, and before long we find the Syracusan navy 
ravaging the coasts of Etruria, and seizing the island of Italia 
{Ella), in b.c. 453. The TyiThenians sent a force to the aid of 
the Athenians in Sicily, in b.c. 414; and, on the other hand, 
Dionysius I. led an expedition against Caere, in Etruria (b.c. 38T). 
Some time before this, the Samites had conquered the Etruscan 
settlements in Campania ; and the Gauls had overrun the plain of 

* They seem to have been the sole masters of the country north of the Po. South of 
that river, they appear to have been mmgled with the Umbrians. 

f Some make Adria a still older Umbrian town. The place lost much of its import- 
ance through that change in the coast-line which has been noticed ; but it still exists, 
with the same name, on the left bank of the Tartaro, north of the Po. 

X See Vol. I. p. 276. 

§ It should be observed that they seem never to have displaced the Latin race from 
the left bank of the Tiber. Indeed it was only at a late period that the Etruscans ex- 
pelled the Umbrians from the region on the right bank of that river ; the Ciminian forest 
(south of Viterbo) having long formed the boundary of the races. 


Northern Italy ; * so that the Etruscans were almost confined to 
the limits of Etruria Proper. Their expulsion from Melpum, the 
last of their possessions beyond the Apennines, coinciding exactly 
with the taking of Yeii by the Romans, marks the epoch of the 
decline of the Etruscan state (b.c. 396), But it took more than 
another century to complete their conquest by the Romans ; and 
as late as b.c. 307 we find their navy taking part in the war of 
Agathocles with Carthage. A fatal blow was given to their power 
in Etruria itself by the victory of Q. Fabius Maximus over the 
united confederacy, at the Yadimonian Lake (b.c. 310). A few 
years afterwards, their last great stand against Rome, in league 
with the Umbrians, Samnites, and the GalL'c Senones, failed 
in the two great battles of Sentinum, in Umbria (b.c. 295) and 
the Yadimonian Lake (b.c. 283), and the final triumph over the 
Etruscans as a nation was celebrated by Q. Marcius Philippus 
in the same year in which Pyrrhus arrived in Italy (b.c. 281). 
The few later wars were isolated efibrts of single cities ; the last 
being the revolt of the Ealiscans in b.c. 21:1. But it seems clear 
that the Etruscans were the last people of Italy who submitted to 
the Romans. 

The political constitution, the religious rites, and the high 
civiKzation of this great people are among the most interesting 
enquiries of ancient history, and are of peculiar importance for the 
elements wliich they contributed to the formation of the Roman 
state. We find among them those definite numbers, which play 
so important a part in the institutions of early nations.f The 
Etruscans worshipped twelve great gods, and formed a confederacy 
of twelve great cities, in each division of their empire. Their twelve 
cities in Central Utruria are well known, though we possess no 
perfect list of them: we are expressly told that they founded 
twelve also in Campania ; and we can have no doubt, from analogy, 
that a similar dodecapolis existed in I^orthem Etruria, between 
the Alps and Apennines. Each city of the confederacy had its 
own independent government, by a close aristrcracy, whom the 

* The taking of Rome by the Gauls (b.c. 390) furnishes a proof of their previous 
conquest of the valley of the Po. 

f The conflict and combination of the numbers 3 and 5, and, as arising out of them, 
of the duodecimal and decimal systems of notation, may be distinctly traced in Italy from 
a very early age. We may perhaps safely say that the primitive Siculians were content 
to count by their 5 fingers and 2 hands, and that the Etruscans were the principal intro- 
ducers of the more scientific combination of the numbers 3 and 4. The peoples of Cen- 
tral Italy used a combination of 3 and 10, as in the 30 Latin states, the 30 curiae of 
Rome, and 80 forth. 


Romans call Principes ^cliief men), and who alone had any voice 
in the councils of the nation. If the mass of the fi'ee citizens had 
any municipal power, it was extremely limited. The rural popu- 
lation, consisting probably of the conquered Pelasgian and Umbriau 
races, were in a state of serfdom, like the Spartan helots, and, like 
them, served in war under their masters. The ruling family, or 
caste, in each city, was that of the LuGumones^ who formed a sort 
of patriarchal priesthood, with a chieftain or king, elected from their 
number, sometimes for life, but allowed only a very limited power 
by his peers. The whole confederacy — we are now speaking of 
Central Etruria, as known in the historic times — met annually in 
the national sanctuary of Yoltumna, just as the Latins met in the 
grove of Ferentina ; and extraordinary meetings were held at the 
same place. The primary object of the assembly seems to have been 
religious, and in particular for the election of a chief pontiif for the 
whole nation. But we find no trace of a supreme magistrate, even 
in time of war ; and, though it cannot be doubted that the assembly 
would consult for the common political interests, so little was there 
of concert, that most of the wars with Rome were carried on by 
separate states. In this want of unity we may trace the mutual 
jealousy of aristocratic governments, and in it must be sought the 
cause of the decline of a state once dominant in Italy. Another 
source of their weakness was the employment of mercenary soldiers, 
an instriunent of vast power in the hands of an able despot, but a 
most insecure support for a free state. Their naval power would, 
from the very nature of the case, be subject to a more concentrated 
authority, though we are not told what it was. The analogy of 
history, however, teaches us that a fleet, whether raised by a 
central government, or formed by the contingents of different 
cities, when it goes forth to meet the perils of the sea and to face 
the enemy under an able admiral, soon forms a community 
severed in a great degree from the factions of home, and preserv- 
ing, together with the professional spirit of the sailor, a strong 
sense of common patriotism, in a spirit opposed to revolution. 
Nor is it at all surprising that the marine was the last branch in 
which the Etruscan power succumbed. 

The religious institutions of the Etruscans formed a chief 
element in those of Rome. Their polytheism retained traces of a 
purer theism ; for, above the Twelve Great Gods, they recognized 
a higher class of deities, the " Shrouded Gods," who did not 

* This title, which in Etruscan appears to have been Lauchme, ia frequently mistaken 
by the Romans for a proper name. 
VOL. II, — 10 


repeal tiiemselTes to mankind, and to wlyiee wQl even the great 
gods were subject. Th^e latter, ax male and six female, formed 
file oomicil of tiieir diie^ Testa, or Tisia, whom the Eomans 
identified with Jupiter, as thej saw in the chief female deity, 
Ou^pra, their Jnno. The godde^ next in rank, Jfenrva or Menerca, 
was of eomse the Soman Minerra. bi the nnm«x)ns minor gods or 
Genii* the Penates or honsdiold deiti^ and the Lare^, or spirits 
of deified men, we trace some of the most diaractereBtic features 
of the Boman mythology. It was diiefly, too, from the Etm&cans 
that the Somans leaznt the arts of aagmy and diyination. The 
eeanononials of worship were detailed, witli minnte precision, in 
the twelye sacred books ascribed to a mysterious being, named 
Taces, the son of a Genius Jovialis, who appeared in the form of 
a boy. but endowed with the wisdom of an old man, and died as 
: ' ^ had dictated the cfmtents of the sacred books. It is 

r ^^c^saiT to point out the reeemblanGe to the &ble of 

Z :. by wMdi Ae Peraans likewise gave dignity to thdv 

^ I'i was the "Etrusca Disc^lina," which the 

I. . :*Ti* studied under the Lueomones. 

I: r i 3n the great progr^B which the Etruscans 

'^ ^-ariy period- The ruins of their great 

_. respecting their tonples and fortificar 

lency in ardiitectuTe. One of the orders 

:-e the name of "Tuscan," but it is 

-_:er modification of the Gredk Doric.f 

T rj walls are in the massive style called by 

theii^jiiii '<an. They consist of irregular blocks, 

ruddy EC . horizontal oourses without cement, a 

fimn whi :: - : :^ tiie polygonal oonstmction of the 

I .e in the progress of the art, 

*"ral cleavage of the diflFerent 
-, :stic of Etruscan arehitec- 

" ation to the con- 

. _ : :_-, but as the means 

:^ and rederaning marBhes fin* 

* nieeiaet idea attached: vraDy s^itfes a icr&^pHra^ ia diat 

of an imiEenar ddl^, lAo bad -.1 ' ^dwlio attended liiebcii^ he 

kad iriteied into Ak wodd, £L -tiu as a sort of qantoal es- 

aeBeevgoi«BiBg]»desimf f:r . iie Gteeka. The good 
SBHvere Gtmi Jutidn, flie ::: 

f Ihoa^ e^aad m its sn : o have had a \am 

ami heacvj fSuL It wtf t- -u Faid*s, Oovent 



cultivation. Of this we have a celebrated example in the great 
sewer of Rome, the Cloaca Maxima^ an undoubted work of the 
Etruscan period of the monarchy. Their fame for laying out the 
streets of their cities affords another proof that their art was based 
upon utility. From the tradition that the Romans borrowed from 
the Etruscans their dramatic entertainments, their races and 
athletic sports, and even their exhibitions of gladiators, it has 
been inferred that the latter people possessed theatres and amphi- 
theatres, but none of these buildings have been discovered, except 
such as probably belong to the Roman period. The influence of 
their domestic architecture on that of Rome is proved by the 
statement that the atrium of the Roman house was borrowed from 
the Etruscans. The general arrangement of their dwellings seems 
to have been imitated in their tombs. 

These tombs furnish nearly all our monumental knowledge of 
the Etruscan people, and our hope of acquiring more. Unlike the 
raised sepulchres of the Romans, they are invariably sunk beneath 
the ground, or excavated in the solid rock, though often with 
an architectural superstructure or vestibule. The form is either 
round or square ; the ceiling is flat, and frequently sculptured 
in imitation of the beams of a house ; and the walls are decorated 
with paintings, representing scenes of common life. In one case, 
a labyrinth has been found, such as Livy describes at the base of 
the tomb of Porsenna. The sarcophagi and urns, found in these 
tombs, ftirnish the chief examples of Etruscan sculptures, in the 
narrower sense of the word. They belong chiefly to a late period, 
and their style and subjects bear evident marks of Greek influence. 
But in the plastic forms of statuary the Etruscans early attained 
great excellence. Their bronze statues {Tuscanica signa) and 
smaller figures {Tyrrhena Sigilla) were celebrated throughout the 
ancient world, and many examples of them are still preserved. 
The most conspicuous are the famous She-wolf of the Capitol, 
and the Chimsera and Orator in the gallery of Florence. These 
works were, for the most part, in the same stiff archaic style 
which we see in the earliest examples of Grecian art. The Etrus- 
cans were also great manufacturers of candelabra, mirrors, and 
other works in bronze, and of gold cups, necklaces, and metal 
ornaments in general. The processes and useful applications of 
metallurgy were known to them from a very early age. They 
worked the iron mines of Elba, and the interior of Etruria 
furnished them with that abundance of copper, which accounts 
for the early use of a massive bronze coinage in the states of 


Central Italy. They were equally famous for their terra-cotta 
vases and statues, and their black and red pottery; but the 
painted vessels, which have become famous under the name of 
" Etruscan Yases," are now proved to be works of Greek art, 
whatever may have been the place of tlieir manufacture. They 
have been found not only in Etmria, but throughout Magna 
Grgecia, and in Greece itself; their subjects are from the Greek 
mythology, the figures being often distinguished by their Greek 
names ; and in many cases they are inscribed with the names of 
their Greek artists. But, indeed, the whole character of Etrus- 
can art, from a very early period, attests the influence *of the 
Greeks, and bears out the criticism that it was rather receptive 
than creative.* 

The wall-paintings in the Etruscan tombs are of very unequal 
merit, and generally in the stiff archaic style. They are chiefly 
valuable for the light they throw on the domestic life of the 
people, and their festive scenes confirm the statements of the 
Roman writers respecting the fondness of the Etruscans for the 
pleasures of the table. The natural resources of their country, 
their wide dominion and extensive commerce, aided by the early 
use of coined money, would naturally tend to their growth in 
wealth and luxury ; but the records of their high civilization and 
gross sensuality seem both to have been exaggerated. Their own 
traditions described the art of writing as introduced by the Greeks, 
of whose alphabet the Etruscan seems to be a modification. There 
is no proof of their having possessed a literature other than their 
sacred books ; and their science was chiefly connected with reli- 
gious uses. Its most important applications were to the marking 
out the boundaries of land, which were placed under the safeguard 
of the proper deities ; — observing and mapping out the heavens 
for the purposes of augury ; — determining the divisions of months 
and years, and those longer secular periods to which they attached 
a mysterous importance, as governing the destinies of their nation ; 
— and arranging a scale of numerals, and a system of weights and 
measures ; — in all which points they were followed by the Romans. 

It should be added that the Etruscans were distinguished from 
the other Italian races, as well as from the Greeks, by their per- 
sonal appearance. They were short and stout, with large heads, 
and had a tendency to corpulence, aggravated by their luxurious 
habits ; at least, such was the opinion of the Romans, embodied 
in the proverbial epithet, " obesus Etruscus." One feature in the 

* Miiller, Arckaologk der Kunsi, ^118 


history of this people deserves especial notice, namely, that, after 
all that is told of their extensive maritime power, they have left 
no traces of their influence beyond the limits of their own country. 
" Their historical development," as Mommsen observes, " began 
and ended in Italy." They were already a powerful state, when 
the foundation of Rome formed a new starting-point for the his- 
tory of the peninsula and of the world. 


IMHOE 171 

Mr ^kiA w nUeM k^g ago ; 


&oni her &!st begnmii^jBy we 
Tiber flowed, not tinxrag^ a 
^ T — : ecfe <tf mip^*MJ nuigni- 
.; :_i wide Campagna. lliis 


plain, a scene so memorable in iiiitorv, exten'ii iAon^ the central 
portion of the western shore of Italy for the length, o: ab-:!!!: linetj 
miles, between tlie spur of the Apeimiiies, which temunates at 
Cape Linaro,* and the Circean Promontory. It has an. average 
breadth of twenty-seven miles between the long sbreti^ of flat 
coast which presents so strLking a contrast to the noble gii]& of 
Graeta, Xaples, and Salerno farther down, and the lower chain of 
the Apennines, which encircle it on the north and east. A spee- 
tator, standing on Motmt Janicnlns, OYerlooking the ate of Borne, 
sees this chain acr'>ss the nndnlating snrface of the Gampagna at 
the distance of ab^^nt ten or fifteen miles, and bdiind it the oential 
ridge of the Apennines, capped with snow ftar half the year. The 
chief objects of the panorama are as memorable for their histtHical 
and poetical associations, as they are c-onspicaons for their heaattj. 
To the northwest, the plain of the Aro (Arrone) is bounded by 
the Etmscan hills. On the north, about twenty miles distant^ 
stands out Soracte, whose snow-clad summit invited H(»race to 
enjoy the pleasures of winter. Eastward, across the Tiber, Hes 
the beautifol range of the Sabine Ar-en nines: and ccmspiGnoaB 
above the rest the peak of Lucretilis 'J£. Gennaro\ whidi shdtered 
the poet's summer retreat. Nearer in the foreground, where tiie 
Anio bursts out of the lulls, is Tibur {Tivoli), whose beanties lie 
extols above all the most famous sites of Greec-e. Then follow the 
hilk of Latium, with their sterner a^ociations ; — the rocky summit 
of Prseneste {Palestrina) standing out in firont of the diain, cde- 
brated in medieval as well as ancient history ; — and the isolated 
volcanic mass of the Alban Mount {Monte Camo or AlbaoMf), the 
sanctuary of the Latin race, down the side of whidi tilie ''Loi^ 
White City " \AIb'.i Longaj extendei to the lake of the same name. 
Its highest summit, crowned of old with the temple of Jnpiter 
Latiaris, was visible even to mariners at sea. Frran thfe point 
there is an uninterrupted view to the sonOieast over Hud plain, 
till it sinks into the sea, which is only distingui^ed £nom the land 
by the brighter light reflected from its waters. Far off unidst tins 
level may be dimly seen the isolated hill of the promontory of 
Circe, whose white clifife reflect the rising beams of the sun, her 
fabled father. Of the aspect of the Campagna near Borne, no 
better idea can be given than by the description of Dr. Arnold : — 
" The lowland country of the Campagna is broken by long green 
swelling ridges, the ground rising and falKng, as in the heatii 

* This headlizi -±r nt; ::"±: F.rziiz ::- tf Cssirm V-rr— 53S 3 ^^ii^ ibrre 


country of Surrey and Berkshire. The streams are dull and slug- 
gish, but the hill sides above them constantly break away into 
little rocky cliffs, where on every ledge the wild fig now strikes 
out its branches, and tufts of broom are clustering, but which in 
old times formed the natural strength of the citadels of the numer- 
ous cities of Latium. Except in these narrow dells, the present 
aspect of the country is all bare and desolate, with no trees, nor 
any human habitation. But anciently, in the times of the early 
kings of Home, it was full of independent cities, and in its popu- 
lation, and the carefol cultivation of its little garden-like farms, 
must have resembled the most flourishing parts of Lombardy or the 
Netherlands." * The southern extremity of the Carnpagna forms 
a dead level, opening on to the Gulf of Gaeta, between the Circean 
promontory and Tarracina, and watered by the Xymphaeus, Ufens, 
and Amasenus, with other rivers. The "Pomtinus Ager" as it 
was called, from Pontia (a town which disappeared very early), was 
once celebrated for its fertility, and contained twenty-three flourish- 
ing towns. But, before the middle of the second century b.c, the 
neglect to regulate the water-courses had converted it into a pesti- 
lential marsh, which was only partially drained by Cethegus (b.c. 
160) and Julius Caesar. The canal, which continued the Yia 
Appia through the Pomptine Marshes to the temple of Feronia, at 
the foot of the hill of Anxur {Terraeiao), furnished Horace with 
his well-known picture of the lazy and extortionate boatmen, and 
the traveller, kept awake by gnats and frogs, singing of his mistress 
till he falls asleep. The drainage works were resumed about the 
end of the eighteenth century, but the marshes are still a hotbed 
of malaria in the summer. Their extent is about twenty-four miles 
long by eight or ten wide. 

The northern part of the Campagna is watered by the Tiber and 
its confluents, of which the Anio is the chief. The sacred river of 
the Pomans, " Father Tiber," more anciently called Pumon and 
Albula, has a course somewhat shorter than the Thamesf of about 
200 miles from its source near Tifemum, in the Apennines, to its 

* History of Rome, vol L p. 35. 

f A fancy, similar to that which compares Edinburgh with Athens, has likened the 
Tiber to the Tay. The resemblance is said to have been first traced by the Romans 
themselves, who saw a second Campius Martins in the North Inch of Perth ; but Sir 
Walter Scott resents such a disparagement of the northern river : 
" ' Behold the Tiber ! ' the vain Roman cried, 
Viewing the ample Tay from Baiglie's side ; 
But Where's the Scot that would the vaunt repay, 
And hail the puny Tiber for the Tay ? " 


moutli at Ostia. For the first 110 miles, it flows as a mountain 
stream, between Etruria and Ilmbria, to its confluence with the 
Nar, which divided the latter country from the Sabine territory, 
a division continued by the Tiber itself for about YO miles, to 
its confluence with the Anio, three miles above Eome. It is in 
this part of its course, between M. Soracte and the Sabine Apen- 
nines, that the Tiber flows out of the mountains into the plain of 
the Campagna. The Anio separated Latium from the Sabine 
territory, which thus occupied the angle between the two rivers, 
looking towards Rome. From this point to its mouth, a distance 
of about 21 miles, the Tiber was the boundary between Etruria 
and Latium. It falls into the sea by two mouths, forming an 
island which was sacred to Yenus, and is stiU called the Isola 
Sacra. At its southern mouth stood the ancient port of Ostia, 
which was so early blocked up by the deposits of the river, that 
Augustus made a new port on the northern mouth, the Portus 
Augusti, now Fiumicino. From Ostia the Tiber was navigable for 
the largest ships up to Rome, whence the navigation for boats 
was continued as far as the confluence of the Nar. At Rome 
the river is about 300 feet wide, and from 12 to 18 deep ; its fall 
for the 18 miles down to its mouth is 33 feet. 

The character of the Tiber, as a rapid mountain stream, flowing 
through no lake to regulate its volume and receive its alluvial 
deposits, is summed up in one line of Virgil, 

" Vorticibus rapidis et multa flavus arena ; " 

and its turbid water still justifles the frequent epithet of the 
"yellow Tiber." Its rapid eddies, frequent floods, and large 
alluvial deposits, have produced great effects on its course through 
the Campagna and on the site of Rome itself. All the engineer- 
ing skill of the masters of the world was unable to protect their 
city from the inundations of its sacred stream, one of which 
(probably that of b.c. 27) is so graphically described by Horace : 

" Vidimus flavum Tiberim, retortis 
Litore Etrusco violenter undis, 
Ire dejectum monumenta regis 
Templaque Vestae." 

It was not indeed till the Etruscan kings executed the great drain, 
the "Cloaca Maxima," that the valleys between the hills of 
Rome were made dry land ; and it seems that at no distant time 
the hiUs nearer to the river were islands. On the other hand, the 
single island {Insula Tiberina) in the stream opposite to the 


Capitol, is supposed to have been formed by tbe deposits of thci 
river witbin tbe bistorie period. 

If a traveller bad performed tbat voyage up tbe Tiber, which 
Ovid ascribes to tbe Arcadian Evander and bis mother Carmenta 
about 60 years before tbe Trojan "War, and on stopping at what was 
long afterwards the site of Rome, had heard the prophetic voice i 
of tbe nymph declaring, I 

" Fallor an hi fient ingentia moenia colles, I 

Juraque ab h^c teiT4 csetera terra petet : 
Montibus his olim totus promittitur orbis : " — | 

it is hard to decide whether the fitness of tbe spot for such a destiny 
would have been so evident as to silence tbe doubt — 

" Quis tantmn fati credat habere locum." 

From the bend of the river below " the island of the Tiber " (if 
tbat island bad then an existence) be would have seen on his left ' 
tbe long ridge of Mount Janiculus, which afterwards formed the 
outpost of the city on the Etruscan side, rising to the height of 
260 feet. Tbe plain below tbe mountain, round which tbe river 
swept, and where the " Gardens of Csesar " afterwards lay, was 
probably a lake or a marsh ; and such was certainly tbe case with 
the level on the other bank, afterwards tbe Yelabrum and the Cattle 
Market (Forum Boarium), and with tbe valleys tbat branched 
out from it, between tbe Palatine hill in the centre, tbe Capitoline 
on tbe north, and tbe Aventine on tbe south. These three bills, 
or mountains, as tbe Romans always called them, formed tbe 
front group of tbe famous seven hills. They are divided by a 
continuous valley, on the IST.E. and S.E. from tbe rest, which 
sweep round them like a theatre — tbe Quirinal, tbe Viminal, the 
Esquiline, tbe Cselian, and another hill further to the south, 
which faces the Cselian on tbe northeast, and the Aventine on 
the northwest. This last had no distinctive name, but was 
reckoned as a part of the Aventine, and included in the circuit 
of tbe most ancient walls. At the northern extremity of the whole 
site is a ninth bill, tbe Mons Pincius, or Collis Hortorum, sepa- 
rated by a valley from the Quirinal, and looking down to tbe 
southwest upon tbe Campus Martins, the level plain enclosed by 
the sweep which the Tiber makes towards tbe northern foot of 
Mount Janiculus. The northern part of this plain is continued 
on tbe right bank of the river in tbe " Ager Yaticanus," which is 
bounded on tbe west by tbe Mons Yaticanus, a ridge resembling 
the Janiculus, but smaller and lower. In ancient times this bill 

IfistorvfiftliH Worlfl 


Gates 111 Uie | 


af Serviiis 

1 Fo 

r^« roJImn 

2 I' 


3 r 


4 f 

Qtia-quetulcoia. '' 

5 J" 


6 P 

RcauitiscaUntcL ' 

7 r. 

8 r 


9 /• 


10 7* 


]] p 


12 T' 


1!! [' 

Hntumena ? 

14 /» 

rcniUnaUn ? 

Gates in Oie I 


of Aureliaxi 

15 Porta ttaniima \ 

16 /' 


17 /' 


18 /' 


19 P 


20 /' 


21 /» 

lyaenesh na (Mii/tjior-e ) 

22 P 


23 /» 

Meh-o\'ia ? 

24 7» 


25 7? 
2G /• 

Areieatina ? 

27 P. 


28 7? 

- Porftiensis 

29 7? 

Aurelia /SJancra xioj 

30 P 

31 /» 

Auieha offi-ocopins 



i£^hu.S(Ponte S.-tnajelo) 

32 Tfof 

33 /? 

34 r 

Jamaxlensis ■' 

35 /< 


36 ^ 


37 /^ 

JMnttmis(^mibu^ rv 

33 /? 

Supposed re/natrts of the 



re-eclioed the shouts with, which the people assemhled in the 
Campus Martius greeted a favourite, 

" ut patemi 
Flummis ripse, simul et jocosa 
Redderet laudes tibi Vaticani 
Montis imago ; " — 

and now the glorious basilica of St. Peter, and the palace of the 
Popes, called the Vatican, stand in the plain at its foot. The 
long ridges of the Vatican and the Janiculus rise to a much greater 
height than the hills on the opposite bank. " The hills of Rome " 
— says Arnold — " are such as we rarely see in England, low in 
height, but with steep and rocky sides. In early times the 
natural wood remained in patches amidst the buildings, as at this 
day it grows here and there on the green sides of the Monte 
Testaccio." Their elevation was far more conspicuous in ancient 
times than now,* when the valleys between them have been raised 
generally fifteen or twenty feet, and in some places considerably 
more. Their precipices have been scarped down, and their natural 
outlines obliterated, more or less, by time and building ; and it is 
only here and there that the steep sides remain unaltered, as in the 
cliff at the southwest angle of the Capitol, called, with doubtful 
correctness, the Tarpe'ian rock. 

This general outline of the site of Rome requires to be filled up 
somewhat more in detail, but only so far as to prepare for a better 
imderstanding of the history ; for it is quite beyond our province 
to touch upon those questions of topography, which have been 
disputed with an animosity as fierce as if the Romans and Sabines 
were once more fighting for their respective hills. The central one of 
the whole group of hills is the Palatine, which was also the seat of 
the original Latin city of Rome. It rises above the Capitoline and 
Aventine by about fifteen feet, but is lower than the four eastern 
hills. Its shape is a tolerably regular lozenge, looking northwest 

* The following table of heights, as determined by Sir George Schukburg, is taken 
from Mr. Dyer's elaborate and invaluable article, "Rome," in Smith's Dictionary of 
Greek and Roman Geography: 


Janiculus, near the VUla Spada .... 

PiNCiAN, garden of the Villa Medici 

EsQUiLiNE, floor of S. Maria Maggvore . . , . 

ViMiNAL and QciRiNAL, at their junction . 

Palatine, floor of the imperial palace .... 

C^LiAN, near the Claudian Aqueduct 

Capitolone, W. end of the Tarpe'ian rock . 

Aventine, near the Priory of Malta 

260 feet 









towards the Capitol, across the valley of the Yicus Tuscus ; west, 
over the low ground already noticed, to the Tiber and Mount Jani- 
culus; southwest to the Aventine; southeast to the Cselian; 
and northeast to the group formed by the Esquiline, the Yiminal, 
and the Quirinal. In the valley which skirted this side, beginning 
from the eastern face of the Capitoline, lay the Forum and the 
Sacra Yia, along which the triumphal processions of the con- 
querors of the world ascended to the Capitol. This part of the 
valley is slightly divided from its eastern prolongation, which runs 
between the Esquiline and the Cselian, by a small hill, projecting 
like a bastion from the northeastern face of the Palatine, called 
Yelia, over which the Yia Sacra passed. Of the hills around the 
Palatine on the east and north, the Caelian stands alone ; the other 
three — or more properly four — are but the branches of one mass, 
which slopes down on the north and east to the Anio and one 
of its tributary brooks ; while on the west, the Quirinal and the 
southern branch of the Esquiline curve inwards like the horns 
of a harbour, enclosing within their sweep the Yiminal and the 
southern branch of the Esquiline. The two arms of the Esquiline 
were originally reckoned as separate hills, the southern or prin- 
cipal being named Oppius, and the smaller offshoot Cispius. 
The Capitoline, the smallest but most famous of the whole group, 
originally called the Saturnian hill,* stands out like a detached 
prolongation of the Quirinal towards the river, from which it is 
distant about 300 paces. It was originally almost close to the 
Quirinal, till Trajan scarped off a portion of the latter, to enlarge 
the valley for his Forum. The Capitoline has a saddle-like 
depression, dividing its top into two summits; of which the 
northern was probably the Capitol, and the southern the Arx, 
or citadel of Rome. Lastly, the Aventine stands out, to the 
southwest of the group formed by the other six — in an isola- 
tion, which, as we shall see, is not without political significance 
— with the Tiber sweeping round its western base. Its shape 
is similar to the Palatine; but it is somewhat larger. Such 
was the surface of the ground on which Eome was built. The 
extent of the city, first, when its different parts were united 
under the kings, and finally, as it existed under the emperors, 
is shown on our map by the two lines of walls, which bear the 
names of Servius Tullius and of Aurelian. But the original 

* The Capitolum itself, from which the hill was named, was the temple of Jupiter 
Optimus Maximus, the chief Roman sanctuary, to which the triumphing generals carried 
up the spoils of their victories. 




city was confined witliin limits much narrower even than the 

When the Romans, who were not by nature a literary people, 
began to study their own early history, they found an endless 
store of poetical legends, accumulated by national and family 
pride, with a paucity of genuine records almost unparalleled in 
the annals of any other people. Untrained in the principles of 
criticism, and caring but little for the naked truth, in comparison 
with the illustration of the long story of Rome's greatness, they 
not only accepted the legends without suspicion, but even adhered 
to them with a wilful neglect of the better authorities within their 
reach. The records kept by the Pontiffs were destroyed in the 
burning of the city by the Gauls ; and it was far easier to supply 
their place from popular traditions, and from the lays of ancient 
bards in praise of the great patrician houses, than to decipher 
antique inscriptions, and unravel the truths hidden beneath national 
customs and institutions. Thus it happened that when, in the 
Augustan age, the poet Yirgil and the historian Livy undertook to 
illustrate the origin of the people, the latter, equally with the 
former, composed an epic of the city's greatness, of no authority 
as a history.* 

It is quite unnecessary to relate at length the oft-repeated stories, 
which trace the origin of the Roman people from the East, and 
which were developed into no less than twenty-five different 
accounts of the foundation of the city. The connection of the old 
Latin race with the Pelasgian stock was recognized by the tradi- 
tions which ascribed the origin of Rome to the latter, as well as 
by the very ancient legend, that Evander, flying from Arcadia, 
sixty years before the Trojan War, was dii'ected by his mother, 
the prophetic nymph Carmenta,f to build a city at the foot of 
the Palatine hill, which was called Pallantium from his grandson 
Pallas, or from the Arcadian town of the same name. This vene- 
rable tradition was eclipsed in general favour by the more popular 
legend of the settlement of a Trojan colony in Italy under ^neas. 

* It is beyond our province to discuss the great question of the credibility of the 
early Roman history, which was first raised more than a century ago by L. de Beaufort in 
his work, Sur Tincertitude des Cinq Premiers Siecles de VHistoire Bomaine, Utrecht, 1738, 
and has been decisively settled by Niebuhr. Besides the well-known recent histories of 
Rome, the reader may consult the work of Sir G. C. Lewis on the subject, and for a popu- 
lar sketch of the poetical sources of the legendary history, the " Introduction " to Lord 
Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Home. 

\ In this name (originally Casmenta) we trace that of the Camenae (Casmenae), the 
Latin Muses. 


One form of the story made JEneas himself the founder of Rome, 
either alone, or in conjnnction with the Aborigines of Latium. This 
is the favourite account with the Greek writers, some of whom even 
represent vEneas as coming into Italv in company with Ulysses, 
while others ascribe the foundation of Rome to a son of Ulysses 
and Circe. The other form of the Trojan story, so well known from 
its adoption by Virgil and Livy, is said to have been first embodied 
in a historical work by Q. Fabius Pictor, the earliest Roman 
annalist in prose, about e.g. 200. JEneas arrives in Italy, after 
many adventures in his flight from Troy, marries the daughter of 
Latinus, the king of the Aborigines, builds the city which he names 
after her Lavinium, and unites the Aborigines with his Trojan fol- 
lowers into the Latin people. Thirty years later, his son Ascanius 
removes his capital to Alba Longa. After eleven generations of 
kings, who reign over the Latins at Alba for three hundred years,* 
Amulius usurps the throne to the exclusion of his elder brother 
^N^umitor, whose only daughter Silvia he dooms to perpetual 
virginity as a Yestal. But Silvia is ^'isited by Mars, and bears 
the twins Romulus and Remus, \^hose cradle, exposed by the 
order of Amulius on the flooded Tiber, is floated to the foot of 
the Palatine, and overturned by the roots of a wild fig tree, which 
became, under the name of Ficus Ruminalus, as profound an 
object of reverence as the sacred olive of Athena. 

The twins are suckled by a she-wolf,t fed by a woodpecker, and 
at length found by the king's herdman Faustulus, who brings 
them up as his own children. The brothers, with a band of other 
youths, feed their flocks on the Palatine, while the herdmen of 
Kumitor occupy the Aventine. A quarrel between the two bands 
leads to the recognition of Romulus and Remus, the slaughter of 
Amulius, and the restoration of iS^umitor to the throne of Alba, 
while the twins return to found a new city at their former haunts. 
Romulus wishes to build on the Palatine, Remus on the Aventine ; 
the quarrel ends in the death of Remus by his brother's hand, and 
RoiiE, the city of Romulus, rises on the summit of the Palatine. 
To people his new city, Romulus opens an asylum for outlaws and 
runaway slaves.' He provides them with wives by the stratagem 
so well known as the " Rape of the Sabine women." In the war 

* The prevalence of the numbers 3 and 10 among the Latins is seen in these 
l^ends : — ^neas reigns 3 years ; Ascanius, at Lavinium, 30 years ; his dynasty at 
Alba 300 years. 

f This part of the legend is commemorated by the celebrated bronze wolf of the 
Capitol already mentioned as a work of Etruscan art, and said to have been dedicated 
in B.C. 296. 




2 m 

C •< ^^ 


which ensues, Titus Tatius, the king of the Sabines of Cures, 
obtains possession of the Saturnian hill, afterwards called the 
Capitol. After many battles in the swampy valley where the 
Forum afterwards stood, the combatants are separated by the 
devotion of the Sabine women, the daughters of the one people 
and the wives of the other. The nations are united under the 
joint government of their two kings, each having its separate 
city, the Romans on the Palatine, the Sabines on the Quirinal, 
while the " Comitia," or assemblies of the united people, are held in 
the valley already mentioned. They are distinguished as two tribes,* 
by the names of Ramnenses and Titienses ; and the numbers 
already adopted by Romulus in the organization of the state are 
doubled. Each tribe contains ten curire of a hundred citizens ; 
with a hundred horsemen, ten to each curia. The retention by the 
Sabines of the Capitol, which formed with the Quirinal their city 
of Quirium, the adoption by the united people of the Sabine name 
of Quirites, {Spear men), -^ and the Sabine appellation of Quirinus, 
by which Romulus was deified, are tacit confessions that the Sabine 
prevailed over the Latin nationality in the union ; and though the 
legend makes Romulus sole king, after Tatius had been slain by 
the people of Laurentium, he is succeeded by the Sabine Numa, 
who gives laws and religious institutions to the united people. 
Meanwhile, another element is introduced into the new state. In 
the midst of the contest between the Romans and the Sabines, we 
find an Etruscan Lucumo, named Cseles Yibenna, in possession of 
the Caelian hill, and aiding Romulus in the war with Tatius. His 
followers are admitted as a third tribe, called Luceres ; and thus 
the number of the curicB becomes 30, and of the citizens, 3000. 
These form the Legio, or military levy of the whole state, with the 
300 cavalry, who are at first called Celeres (that is, svjift), and 
afterwards Equites (horseman), whose three Centuries always bore 
the names of Ramnenses, Titienses, and Luceres. 

Li their civil capacity, these 3300 citizens formed the Roman 

* Tribus = a third part. Hence, the division of a whole into " two tribes " is an ap- 
parent contradiction in terms. But, besides that the word is used with reference to the 
ultimate number of three tribes, this generic use of the " third " for a division, among a 
people who coimted by threes, resembles our use of the word "quarter." 

\ This name became the appellation of the Romans in their civil capacity ; but the 
memory of their double origin is preserved in the formula " Populus Romanus Quirites." 
In such formulae it was the custom to omit the conjunction, as in "Patres Conscripti" 
for " Patres et Conscripti," and in the names of the consuls when used for the date of 
each year. 


People,* wlio alone enjoyed political rights. The government 
was a limited monarchy, the king being bound to lay every matter 
of importance before the people in their Comitia Curiata^ or Assem- 
bly of the Cm-ise, where the question was decided by the majority 
of the Curiae. Even the itnperium,^\ or power of life and death, 
which has always been held essential to command in war, had to 
be conferred on the king by a vote of the Curiae. This power, with 
that of corporal punishment, was symbolized by the axes, bound 
up in bundles of rods {fasces), which were borne before the king 
by twelve officers called Lictors (binders), a mark of state which is 
said to have been borrowed from Etruria. The king had his council 
called the Senate, or body of Elders, which consisted at first of 100 
members, 10 from each of the original Curiae. This number was 
doubled by the junction with the Sabines ; but the Luceres did not 
at first send any member to the Senate, which remained therefore 
at 200, till Tarquinius Prisons, the first Etruscan king of Rome, 
raised its numbers to 300 by the admission of the Luceres. The 
Senators bore the title of Patres (Fathers) ; and there can be little 
doubt that they were the heads of the Gentes (Houses or Clans), ten 
of which originally composed each curia. Every gens was distin- 
guished by a name, which was borne by each of its members {gen- 
tiles) as his principal surname ; X and all were bound together by 

* Populus Romanus. It is of the utmost importance to bear in mind the meaning 
of this phrase, especially as we are accustomed to use the word people in the opposite 
sense — for the non-privileged class. 

f Amidst the confusion of terms introduced by the pride of rulers and its reflection 
in their subjects, it is well to bear in mind that imperial power signifies properly the ab- 
solute power of life and death. 

\ The gentile names are of the adjective form, ending in -ius. They were usually 
derived from some divine, or heroic, or other ancestor — real or supposed — as the 
Marcii from Mars ; Julil from liilus, the son of Jineas ; the Appii Claudii from the 
Sabine leader, Attus Clausus. A Roman had ordinarily three names : (1) the 
FrcBnomen^ (forename) or personal name, as Quintus, Marcus, Titus, &c. ; (2) the 
Nomen, or name proper, which was the gentile name, as Tullius, Cornehus, &c. ; (3) 
the Cognomen, or surname, which was the name of his familia, as Cicero, Scipio, &c. 
A man might be addressed either by his nomen or cognomen ; but the formal mode of 
address was by the personal and gentile name. Thus, when Cicero was asked to give 
his opinion in the Senate, the Consul would address him with the words, "Die, 
Marce Tulli." A second cognomen, called the Agnomen (or added name), or even 
more than one, could be obtained as the record of some achievement. Lastly, there 
was the Nomen Adopdum ; when a member of one gens was adopted into another he 
usually took the three names of his adoptive fiither, with the name of his own gens 
added in the form of an adjective in -anus. We have examples of all these forms in 
the name of the younger Scipio. He was the son of L. J^milius Paulus, the con- 
queror of Macedonia ; being adopted by P. Cornehus Scipio, he took this name with 
the adoptive addition ; his exploits in Africa and in Spain added two agnomina ; and 


certain religious rites {sacra gentilitia) celebrated in tlie chapel of 
the gens {sacellum) ; but tbere was no necessary connection of 
kindred among the members. The Gentes were divided into 
Familice, which properly denoted ^^raoTis in the legal sense, those, 
namely, who had the power of 2, jpater-familias over their children, 
children's children, and slaves. In all this we see a patriarchal 
constitution with the Patres at its head. The Patres of the 
Luceres were distinguished by a title which implies an inferiority 
of privilege in their tribe, as the Patres Minores Gentium. It may 
be well here to explain, by anticipation, the full title by which the 
Senators were ultimately distinguished. To fill up the vacancies 
caused by the tyranny of Tarquinius Superbus, the earliest consuls 
imder the Republic enrolled in the Senate certain noble plebeians 
of equestrian rank ; but these were distinguished from the Patres 
of the three tribes by the name of Conscripti {enrolled)^ and thence- 
forth the full title of the Senators became Patres Conscripti. 

The Patres were the heads of houses of the Patricii, or Patri- 
cians.* Under this name were included all those who were 
numbered in the tribes, curiae, and gentes, in one word all the 
full citizens of the state.f They possessed, of course, all the 
rights and were bound to discharge the duties of a citizen. Their 
rights were public and private,:}: the fonner including the right of 
voting in the tribes,§ and (afterwards, under the Republic) eligi- 
bility to the offices of the state ; || and the latter the freedom of 
trading and contracting marriages with each other. ^^ To them 
alone belonged a share in the religious rites of the state.** At a 
later age, when, as we shall see, other persons were admitted 
to the citizenship with less complete privileges, the full citizens 
were distinguished by a special title.ff These alone, as we have 
said, formed at first the Roman people ; but, besides them, there 
existed, from the very first, an inferior class, of great importance 
in the constitutional history of Rome, the Clients {clientes), to 
whom the Patricians stood in the relation of Patrons {jpatroni).XX 

BO he became P. Cornelius Scipio uEmilianus Africanus NumarUinus. Titles of oflSce 
were placed after the name. 

* The frequent confusion of Patres and Patricii must be carefully avoided. The 
words had probably at first the same meaning, namely /a/Aers of families. 

f The term civUas denoted properly, in the concrete sense, the body of citizens : it 
was also used, in the abstract sense, for the condition of a citizen. 

\ Jus publicum and ju^ privatum. § Jus suffragii. \ Honores. ^ Comr 

mercium and connubium. ** Jus sacrorum. •[••(• Optimo jure cives. 

Xt The etymological connection oi patriciua and patronus — both derived from pater^ 
seems to show that the cUent was regarded as belonging to the family of his patron, and 

VOL. II. — 11 


The client looked to his patron for counsel and support, especially 
in law-suits, and rendered in return certain aid, defined by cus- 
tom, in the form of pecuniary and personal service, like the re- 
tainers of the feudal barons in the middle ages. This resemblance 
strikes us when we read of the Sabines under Tatius being followed 
by their clients, and of the Sabine chieftain, Attus Clausus, 
coming to Rome with a numerous cUentela / and such cases seem 
to prove that the institution was an ancient one among the Italian 
nations. It has been conjectured also that a part, at least, of the 
body of clients was formed by the Italians who were conquered 
in the first wars which doubtless followed the foundation of the 
city, and which the legend represents Romulus as carrying on 
without intermission during the forty years of his reign. That 
many of the neighbouring people, who joined the new state from 
pohcy or fear, would be enrolled as clients, seems highly probable ; 
but to regard the people of conquered cities in that light appears 
to trench upon the distinction between the Clients and the 
Plebs, a question which has presently to be noticed. The client 
bore the gentile name of his patron, and enjoyed a modified 

Such is the political constitution ascribed to Romulus by the 
legend of the foundation of the city. He is further represented 
as just and gentle in the exercise of his judicial functions. The 
practice attributed to him of punisliing crimes by a fine of cattle 
rather than with death, is a well-known patriarchal usage. The 
stories of his exploits in war are as purely mythical as his own 
personal existence. Of these the most celebrated is the defeat of 
the people of Csenina, whose king Acron was slain by the hand 
of Romulus, and his arms dedicated on the temple of Jupiter 
Feretrius, under the name of spolia opima. Only two other cases 
are recorded in the history of Rome of such a dedication by a 
general of the arms stripped from a hostile commander, killed by 
his own hand. The second sj>olia opima were won by A. Cornelius 
Cossus from Lar Tolumnius, the king of Yeii; the thu'd by 
M. Claudius Marcellus from the Gallic king Yiridomarus. 

The mythical founder of the Roman state was duly honoured 
with an apotheosis. Having been snatched away by his father 
Mars, amidst a fearful storm and supernatural darkness, when the 
people were assembled in the Campius Martins, he appeared the 
same night, in more than mortal stature and beauty, to a senator 

as subject, in some degree at least, to Vvs, patria jpoteslas. The word dienz is perhaps de- 
rived from the old verb cluere^ signifying to hear and obey. 



named Proculus Julius, who was returning from Alba to Kome. 
" Go," said he, " and tell my people that they weej) not for me 
any more ; but bid them to be brave and warlike, and so shall 
they make my city the greatest in the earth." So the people 
built a temple to Romulus, as a god, and worshipped him by 
the name of Quirinus. His parting message gives point to the 
whole spirit of his legend, which marks Eome, from its first 
beginning, as a martial and conquering state, in which, as her 
very language testifies, Yalour was the supreme Yirtue — the 
highest quality of Man ( Virtus) ; — a spirit prophetic of the 
destiny she had to fulfil. 

The ascription by the legend of thirty-seven years to the reign 
of Romulus calls for a remark on the system of Roman chrono- 
logy and the great epoch of the foundation of the city. That 
epoch is as destitute of all historical authority, as the lengths of 
the reigns of the seven kings are of any probability. The trust- 
worthy chronology of Rome, as preserved in the Fasti by the 
names of the annual magistrates, began at the taking of the city 
by the Gauls in b.c. 390. But there appear to have been safe 
grounds for reckoning back 120 years to the Hegifugium, or 
expulsion of the kings, which was the Era of the republican chro- 
nology (b.c. 510).* From that point all was conjecture ; for 
popular tradition never supplies chronological data. It only re- 
mained for the Pontiffs, who had the annals entirely in their 
hands, to invent some plausible system ; and this they appear to 
have found in the duplication of the time since the Regifugium, 
thus assigning 240 years to the whole period of the kings. This 
reckoning brings us to the very date assigned by Cato for the 
building of the city, b.c. Y51 ; and the eras adopted by other 
authorities all fall within a very few years of this. That used by 
most of the ancient writers, and generally followed in modern 
works, is the Era of Yabeo, according to whom the city of 
Romulus on the Palatine was founded on the day of the Palilia — 
the Feast of Pales, the deity of shepherds — on the 21st of April, 
B.C. Y53.t 

* The festival of the Regifugium was kept on the 24th of February, just at the close 
of the Roman year. See the account of the calendar given below. 

\ The other principal eras are those of Polybius, B.C. 750, and of Fabius Pictor, 
B.C. 'Zi'Z. In practical chronology the Varronian era is reckoned from the 1st of Janu- 
ary, B.C. "753. In comparison with the Greek chronology, it was the year, ?« the middle 
of which 01. 6. 4 began. The following are easy formula3 for the conversion of the 
Roman years and our own into one another: — a.u.c. + B.C. = 754 ; and a.u.c. — a.d. 
= 753 ; or 753 + A.D. =: A.u.c. The letters stand for the cun-ent year of the epoch they 


On the death of Eomulus — according to the legendary story — 
no one was deemed worthy to supply his place. Instead of elect- 
ing a new king, the Senate formed themselves into bodies of Tek" 
(JDecurias), each of which governed with royal power for five days, 
the chief member (Deeurion) being called an InUrrex (or Between- 
King). This Interregnum^ as it was called, had lasted for a year, 
when the discontent of the people made it necessary to choose 
another king. The rival claims of the Romans and Sabines (for 
the Luceres are not said to have had a voice in the election) were 
settled by the former choosing a king out of the number of the 
latter. The curias of the Ranmes elected Xuma Pompilius, a 
Sabine, famous for his personal sanctity and his knowledge of 
the worship of the gods. Some said that he had derived his 
wisdom from the Greek philosopher, Pythagoras ; but all agreed 
that he learnt the will of the gods from the nymph or Camena, 
Egeria, who met him at a fountain in the recesses of her sacred 
grove, and became his wife. She taught him to entrap the deities 
Picus and Faunus in the wood of Mount Aventine, that he might 
learn how to draw forth signs of the favour of Jupiter. In the 
midst of an assembly of the people, the god appeared in the form 
of lightning, and sent down from heaven the Ancile, or sacred 
shield of Mars. This shield, with eleven others, made so exactly 
like it that no man could distinguish the real one among the 
twelve, Xuma committed to the custody of the twelve Scdiij or 
dancing priests of Mars, whose special office it was to officiate at 
the public thanksgivings (mppUcationes) for great victories. 

Besides this symbol oi (\i\iTie j^fotection, there was another of 
life, to be preserved with equal care. As a Latin colony — for this 
character of the city now appeare clearly in the legend — Eome 
possessed the sacred fire of Yesta (the goddess of the hearth), 
brought from her temple at Alba. Vesta was worshipped, with 
the household gods {Penates), at every Roman hearth; and, as 
the common sanctuary of the whole Roman family, Xuma built 
her a circular temple on the north slope of the Palatine towards 
the Porum, and appointed four priestesses {Vestal-es), vowed to 
perpetual virginity, under the pain of being buried alive, to keep 
the fire ever burning on her altar. That the Yestal Virgins were 
an old Latin institution is implied in the legend of Silvia. The 
same is probably true of the Salii and the other colleges of priests 

denote. Thus Borne was taken bj the Gauls in the 364th year of the city : this is b.c. 
3&0, for 364 -r 390 = 754. Again, Eome was taken by Alaric in aj). 410 : this was a.c.c. 


ascribed to IN'uma. As a sign of the state of peace whicli lie 
preserved through his reign of forty-three years, Xuma hnilt in 
the midst of the Forum the porch or covered passage of Janus, the 
god of day, who governed the beginnings of all things, and their 
issues — the opener and shutter — attributes which were symbolized 
by his two faces, looking outwards and inwards over gateways. 
The folding doors at either end of this passage were shut in time 
of peace, and open during war. They were never closed, from the 
end of I^uma's reign to the pacification of the empire by Augus- 
tus, except for a short space after the first Punic "VVar. 

The whole religious institutions and civil legislation of Home 
are ascribed to Numa, as the political and military constitution is 
to Eomulus. He established the College of Pontifls, to direct the 
ceremonies of religious worship, and to regulate the calendar, on 
which the festivals depended, as well as the system of weights and 
measm*es.* The pontiffs were four in number, two being taken from 
each of the old tribes of the Ramnes and Titienses ; and at their 
head was a Pontifex Maximus. Another college was that of the 
six Augurs, Auspices, or Haruspices {Bi/'d-Seers), who preserved 
the art of interpreting the will of the gods by the flight of birds, 
and afterwards by the other signs called omens. These " colleges 
of sacred lore " were close corporations, all vacancies being filled 
up by the members themselves ; and a place in them was an 
object of ambition with the greatest men of Rome. Julius Csesar 
was Pontifex Maximus. They were doubtless, like the Yestal 
Yirgins, an old Latin institution. A third college was that of the 
Heralds {fetiales), who were the guardians of the public faith, 
and with whom it rested to perform the solemn rites that belonged 
to the declaration of war and the conclusion of peace, some of the 

* The explanation of the title Pontifices as bridge builders, because they built the pons 
sublid^ts (or bridge on piles) m order to perform the sacrifices on both sides of the river, 
is a mere guess, and inconsistent with the tradition which ascribes the bridge to Ancua 
Marcius. A better reason for the name is found in the ancient sacrifice of the Argei, 
which they ofiered annually on the Ides of May on the subUcian bridge. The word haa 
also been derived from pompa, a rehgious procession ; the ordering of such ceremonies 
belongmg to the pompifices {pontifices). Mommsen adheres to the common etymology, 
and regards the pontifices as " the Koman engmeers, who understood the mystery of 
measures and numbers ; whence there devolved upon them also the duties of managing 
the calendar of the state, of proclaimmg to the people the time of new and full moon, and 
the days of festivals, and of seeing that every religious and every judicial act took place 
on the right day. . . . Thus they acquired (though not probably in its full extent 
till after the aboUtion of the monarchy) the general oversight of Roman worship and of 
whatever was connected with it. They themselves described the sum of their knowl- 
edge as ' the science of things human and divine.' " 


formulae ot wliicli are preserved by Livy. Their number appears 
to have been twenty, ten from eacb of the two ancient tribes. 
To Numa also is ascribed the appointments of the priests {fiamines^ 
that is, fire-Jcindlers) of particular deities, and especially of Mars 
Gradivus and his son Quirinus, as well as the Flamen Dialis, 
priest of Jupiter. These three formed the sacred triad of high 
priests ; and there were many more, to conduct the rites of the 
gentes, the curiae, and the whole state. 

ISTuma, finally, was the reputed author of those institutions by 
which the most important affairs of common life were placed 
under the sanctions of religion. He fixed the boundaries of fields 
and estates by landmarks, sacred to the god Terminus, in whose 
honour he instituted the feast of the Terminalia, which closed the 
sacred rites of the year.* He divided the territory of Rome out- 
side the city into districts, called j!?a^^, an act commemorated by 
the festival of the Paganalia. Hence arose that distinction be- 
tween the urbani (townspeople) and the pagani (country folk), 
names which have so curiously acquired a social and religious 
meaning from the higher polish of the inhabitants of cities, and 
from the fact that the countrymen were the last to abandon 
heathenism for Christianity. The regulation of the calendar, 
connected with the name of ISTuma, is too intimately connected 
with our own mode of reckoning time to be passed over. The 
Italians, like all early nations, numbered periods of days by the 
phases of the moon ; but they had of course a notion of the annual 
cycle of the seasons, though astronomical observation was required 
to determine the true length of the year by the sun's course among 
the stars. Some ancient writers, indeed, assert that the Romans 
had from the beginning a tropical year {annus vertens) of 365 days, 
divided into 12 months; but the weight of authority is all in 
favour of a year based on the Latin predilection for the decimal 
scale — a year of ten months, which were lunar, with slight modi- 
fications. This is called the Year of Romulus. It certainly began 
with March (the month sacred to Mars) ; all the names after the 
first four indicate the numerical succession of the ten months ; f 
and there is sufficient evidence that December was the last. 
Instead, however, of preserving the average lunar cycle of 29^ 

* It was on February 23d, which was the last day of the ordinary year, for, when an 
intercalary month was introduced, the last five days of February were incorporated 
with it. 

\ Before the Julian reformation, July was QuinciUis (the Ji/ih month), and August 
SextUis (the sixth) : the other four still bear their numbers. 


days, four of the months appear, from the earliest times, to have 
had 31 days, and the other six 30. The former — March, May, 
Qiiinctilis, and October — were called full {jpleni)^ the latter hollow 
{ea/vi) menses ; and the full months remained such through all 
subsequent changes of the calendar. Thus the year consisted of 
304 days ; and by what system of intercalation it was filled up to 
the tropical year we are not informed. The change ascribed to 
!Numa consisted in the introduction of the duodecimal division of 
the year into months more nearly lunar, by the addition of January 
and February at the end. If these months had had 31 and 30 
days, their addition to the year of Romulus woidd have made up 
365 days, the nearest approximation to the tropical year which 
seems to have been known in the West.* But this was not the 
object aimed at. The importance attached to lunar months in 
religious festivals required a lunar year. Kow the true length of 
a year of twelve lunations is 35-4 days, 8h. 48' 36" ; and the 
ancients reckoned it at 354 days. This sum would have been 
made up exactly by six months of 30 days alternated with six 
months of 29 days ; but the reasons for a variation from this plan 
are not far to seek. With the duodecimal system (probably from 
the Etruscans) there had come in a superstitious regard for the 
good and bad luck of odd and even numbers. Therefore, as it 
seems, Numa f made the year consist of 355 days ; and, retaining 
the full months at 31, reduced the hollow months to 29, assigning 
the same number to January, and 28 to February : but even here 
the odd number was preserved by dividing February into two parts 
of 23 and 5 days, between which the intercalary month, called 
Mercedonius, of 22 or 23 days, was inserted at every other year.;}: 
Each month was divided at a day called the Ides (Idus or division), 
which fell on the 15th day of the four full months, and on the 13th 
of the rest ; the ninth day before the Ides (reckoning both extremes) 
was called the Kones {JVonce, or ninth), and fell on the Yth of the 
full months, and the 5th of the rest. The 1st of every month was 
called the Kalends {Kalendm, or proclamation-days), because the 
Pontifices proclaimed the commencement of the month, just as the 

* We have already seen that the Egyptians, and probably the Chaldasans, knew the 
year of 365J- days. 

f We follow the language of the tradition for the sake of convenience. 

X The order of the months, as thus divided, was the following: — Martius, 31 days; 
Aprilis 29; Mains, 31; Junius, 29; QumctiHs, 31; Sextilis, 29; September, 29; Octo- 
ber, 31 ; November, 29 ; December, 29 ; Januarius, 29 ; Februarius, 28 : Total, 355 
days ; but one of these days, namely the 24th of February, was regarded as intercalary, 
and was inserted wherever the Pontifices chose. 


Maliommedan muezzin announces the first appearance of the new 
moon from his watch on the minaret. From the name Kalends 
was derived that of the Kalendar {Kalendarium), a tabular view 
of the whole year, distinguishing the common days and holidays.* 
The oldest Eoman calendars contain a division, somewhat analo- 
gous to that of weeks, in the periods of eight days, distinguished 
by marking the successive days from the beginning of the year by 
the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H. According to the Eoman 
mode of reckoning both extremes, these were called periods of nine 
days or Nundines {nundincB). The various details, and especially 
the mode of intercalation, were regulated by the Pontiffs, who 
used their power for political and other purposes, in a way so 
arbitrary and irregular as to bring about that utter confusion of 
seasons, festivals, and everything, which was rectified by the great 
reform of Julius Csesar in b.c. 46, which, with the slight correction 
of Pope Gregory, regulates our present calendar. 

Such are the principal legends concerning the foundation of the 
Roman state, and concerning its primitive constitution, while yet 
it was confined to a narrow territory, hemmed in by the powerful 
confederacies of the Latins, the Etruscans, and the Sabines. The 
story goes on, in the same mythical vein, to tell how the third 
king, a warrior only second to Romulus, broke the strength of the 
Latins and destroyed Alba, and how his successor, the grandson 
of l^uma, consolidated the laws of Rome, while he carried on the 
subjugation of the Latin nation, and laid the foundation of the 
new plebeian order by the settlement he gave to the conquered 
people on the Aventine. After this, the state assumed a new char- 
acter from the accession of an Etruscan dynasty of three kings, 
of whom the first speedily invests it with the splendour of a rich 
and powerful monarchy ; the second amalgamates the heteroge- 
neous elements into a constitution which secures to every class a 
fair share of privilege ; the third, ruling with insolence, and endeav- 
ouring to build up his arbitrary power on the destruction of the 
aristocracy, is driven from the throne, the monarchy falls with 
him, and the era of the Republic begins. But, before pursuing 
the legendary history through these second and third stages, it is 
needftd to inquire what are the truths concerning the primitive 
state of Rome, which are partly concealed and partly dimly indi- 

* From /as, sacred law, dies fasti and nefasti signified, not holy and unholy days, but 
just the opposite, namely, days on which it was lawful and unlawftil to do ordinary 
business. The Scotch have a similar use of " lawful days," in contradistinction to the 


cated, by the mythical stories of Eomulus and Numa. In a 
question on which the greatest scholars of our own times have 
brought vast learning and ingenuity to bear, and respecting which 
there is still so wide a margin of controversy, it must suffice to 
indicate those leading points on which there is a general agree- 
ment, or those different views which are too important to be 

The very position of Rome is a type of the mingled elements 
which enter into its earliest history. Standing on the Latin bank 
of the Tiber, looking across that river into Etruria, and up the 
river to the point where, at the confluence of the Anio, the Sabine 
territory juts forward between the other two ; offering, moreover, 
in its several hills, sites for different settlements, it seems destined 
for the union of the three races that peopled Central Italy. Nay 
more, the ready access to it up the river appears to invite settlers 
from beyond the sea, and to make it a refuge for adventurers 
wandering over the Mediterranean in search of a home. For this 
last reason we should hesitate to reject altogether such legends as 
those of ^neas and Evander ; of which the one may indicate a 
prehistoric settlement of the Thracian branch of the Pelasgic race, 
the other a Greek element, of which eminent scholars have found 
marked traces in the primitive institutions of the Roman state.* 
It is especially on the Saturnian (Capitoline) hill that marks of a 
Greek colony are supposed to have existed. But there are at best 
doubtful speculations, compared with the evidence that Rome was 
at first a Latin village on the Palatine, while other settlements 
existed on the other hills ; and that, by a process very different 
from that described in the popular legends of the nation —except 
as the truth forces itself to the surface, as it were, against the will 
of the romancers — other elements, Sabine, Latin, and Etruscan, 
were superadded, bringing with them laws and institutions, and 
forms of civilization, unknown to the first Latin settlers ; while 
the perpetual conflict of opposing forces made Rome from the fii^t 
a military power by the necessity of self-defence. 

Among the first proofs of the Latin origin of Rome is the fact 
that its language was called Latin from the earliest age that it is 
known to have had a name at all. But the presence of Sabellian 
and Oscan elements in Latin gives equally clear evidence of the 
admixture of that stock in the earliest Roman people ; while the 
want of an Etruscan element in the language seems to show that 
the Etruscan influence, which appears in the institutions of Rome, 

• The reader may consult the arguments of Mr. Newman, in his Regal Rome. 


was superadded at a later age. Wlien ^ve turn to the name of the 
city for further light, we are met by a variety of conjectures, 
derivins: it from several difierent lanscuages. The Latins them- 
selves had a tradition that Rome was a foreign word, and that the 
city had another and a sacred name, which it was not lawful to 
utter. The river, by which Eome stood, was variously called by 
the names of Rumon, Albula, Thybris, and Tyberis, of which the 
second seems clearly Latin, and the first is connected with the 
name of Eome, and its people the Ramnes. - In calling Eome the 
city of the Eamnes on Mount Palatine, we have summed up in a 
word all that the name can tell us. Some suppose the name itself, 
and also those of the Titienses and Luceres, to be Etmscan; 
others, Oscan. Few doubt that these three names represent vil- 
lages, or communities of some sort, which had grown up on the 
hills afterwards included in the site of Eome. All are agreed 
that the Eamnes were of the Latin stock, and the Titienses of the 
Sabine ; but there is a very great division of opinion as to whether 
the Luceres were Etruscans or Latins. At all events, they held a 
far less important place than the other two in the first consoli- 
dation of the Eoman state. Besides these three, tradition speaks 
of various other settlements on the Seven Hills, and in particular 
of a Greek town, called Antipolis,t on Mons Janiculus ; but the 
name, at all events, cannot have been used till an important city 
had grown up on the left bank. The condition in which these 
settlements are supposed to have existed cannot be better described 
than in the words of Mommsen : — " Long, in all probability, ere 
an m'ban settlement arose on the Tiber, these Eamnians, Titles, 
and Luceres, at first separate, afterwards united, had their strong- 
holds on the Eoman hills, and tilled their fields from t]ie sur- 
rounding villages. The ' wolf-festival ' {Lupercalia) which the 
gens of the Quinctii celebrated on the Palatine hill, was probably a 
tradition from these primitive ages — a festival of countrymen and 
shepherds, which preserved, more than any other, the homely pas- 
times of patriarchal simplicity, and, singularly enough, maintained 
itself longer than other heathen festivals in Christian Eome." 

As to the origin of the Palatine city of the Eamnes, the ques- 
tion lies between two chief theories. Both are agreed that the 
Latin nation already existed, long before the foundation of Eome 
as a pastoral and agricultm-al people, having their strongholds 

* It is almost superfluous to observe that the names of Romvhis and Rermts are do- 
riTed from that of the city, as its imaginary heroes eponymi. 
f That is, the opposite city. 


in numerous cities, which were united — as some think — in different 
leagues, or — as others suppose — in one confederacy, with Alba for 
its head. The one theory then follows the popular legend so far as 
to suppose that an Alban colony, whether driven out by force, or led 
by the lore of adventure, settled on the Palatine, and became the 
nucleus to which political and other outlaws flocked from all the 
neighbouring cities ; and the community thus formed, consisting 
almost entirely of males, took to the practice, common in a wild 
state of society, of women-stealing. " Alban Rome," says Mr. 
Newman, who advocates this theory — " was clearly a robber-city ; 
yet we do not know it to have been stained with blood-thirsty 
treachery, like the Mamertines of Messene. She is rather to be 
compared to the petty states of early Greece, when they practised 
piracy without scruple, and gloried in it." * Such a state could 
only maintain its existence by unceasing wars with its neighbours, 
and the necessity of its position would demand constant accessions 
of a warlike population. Its power was early extended, so as to 
add to the original city on the Palatine another stronghold on the 
Capitoline, and a suburb on the Esquiline. The wars of Romulus 
with the neighbouring towns, as Csecina, Antemnas, and crus- 
tennerium, — falsified as they manifestly are in their details by 
national vanity — represent a long conflict which was attended 
with successes that enabled the Romans to transfer the inhabi- 
tants of conquered cities in mass to Rome, and laid the founda- 
tions for the class of Clients. All this must have taken far more 
time than the space assigned to the single reign of Romulus, 
under whose name it was the pride of later times to embody in a 
definite form all the military and political institutions which grew 
up with time and experience. For the real form of government, 
we must look to the other Latin cities, which we find bringing out 
their forces to war under an elective military chieftain. " We must 
perhaps rest," says Mr. Newman, "in the general probability, 
that the successive heads or kings of Alban Rome (however 
many are concealed under the name of Romulus) — as captains of 
a people to whom warlike interests were all in all, — exercised a 
severely despotic discipline with high approbation, as long as they 
were successful in war and just in the partition of spoil : and 
that, though no written law defined the rights of the king, and 
no precedents could have grown up to give strength to a senate, 
yet brave and turbulent men, with arms in their hands, knew 
how to prevent their leader's authority from degenerating into 

* Regd Rome, p. 37. 


tyranny." Such was the condition to which the military colony 
of the Ramnians had grown, when it received at once a military 
check, and, as a consequence, new elements of civilization, from 
the Sabines of the neighbouring city of Cures. This hardy 
people, a branch of the Umbro-Samnite stock, lived in the high- 
lands of the Appenines, between the Tiber and the Anio ; where 
their descendants preserved, down to the imperial age of Rome, 
their rustic simplicity of manners. Like the Lacedaemonians, 
with whom Greek writers therefore imagined them to have an 
affinity, they dwelt in unwalled villages, relying for safety on 
their arms. Their government was a patriarchal confederacy of 
clans or houses (gentes), which had their own religious ceremonies 
and regulated the conduct of their members, each of whom bore 
the name of his own clan. There was no slavery, in the proper 
sense of the word ; but a class of serfs existed, under the name of 
Clients, bound to their lord or patron by a sense of duty and 
attachment, which inculcated obedience and service on their part, 
and on his, protection and care of their welfare. The institu- 
tion resembles that which has survived to our times, however 
weakened, among the Gaelic inhabitants of Scotland ; and, in 
fact, the language of the Sabellian tribes seems to prove their 
affinity to the Celtic stock. The great dignity of a noble con- 
sisted in the maintenance of a large clientage ; and his state 
seems to have been supported, in a great degree, by the rent of the 
lands cultivated by his clients. The effect of such a relation was 
of course to draw a clearly marked distinction between the patri- 
archal nobles and the lower class ; which was maintained by an 
exclusive law of intermarriage among the nobles. Their patri- 
archal power was carried so far as to give the father the right of 
life and death, not only over his childi'en, but his wife. The 
Sabines had that high regard for religion, often degenerating 
into superstition, which characterizes nations in a patriarchal state. 
" Their morality was sharply defined, eminently positive and over- 
ruling to the whole outward conduct," 

This simple and hardy race increased with a rapidity which 
required an extension of its possessions, and thus they were spread 
southwards over the Italian peninsula. There is a tradition that 
those of the youth who were born at a particular season, called 
the Sacred Spring, were sent out in search of new abodes, as soon 
as they reached the military age. "Whether it was such a band 
that settled in the fork between the Anio and the Tiber, under 
the name of Quirites {spearmen), as the servants of Quirinvs (the 


god of the spear), and with a capital Cures {Quires), can onlj be 
conjectured. But this much seems certain, that the Sabines of 
Cures were established on the Quirinal hill at an epoch rather 
later than the foundation of Alban Eome on the Palatine. "War 
ensued between the two communities ; the Sabines drove the 
Eomans from their outlying citadel on the Satumian hill ; after a 
long-protracted conflict, the former prevailed bj their superior 
numbers and discipline ; and it was as the result of a real con- 
quest that the united nation received the political and religious 
institutions, which the mythical account ascribes to Eomulus and 
Kuma. The Latin rites, which had been sanctified by custom, 
retained their place, and the conquered race were sufficiently 
numerous to make Latin the language of the united people, as in 
the parallel case of the conquest of the English by the jS^ormans. 
The patriarchal aristocracy accepted the government of an elective 
monarch, whether as a new institution, or one developed during 
the residence of the Sabines at Cures, with the peculiar custom of 
the Interregnum / and it may be assumed that a long line of elec- 
tive kings is represented by the three names of !N^uma, Tullus 
Hostilius, and Ancus Marcius. 

The other theory treats the poetical tradition as altogether 
unworthy of respect, and seeks the origin of Eome in a process of 
more natural growth, from the time when rural communities of 
the Latins and Sabines (the stock most closely related to the 
Latins), both agricultural as well as pastoral people, cultivated 
the lands around the hills which they occupied as their strongholds 
in case of danger. " From these settlements," says Dr. Mommsen, 
" the later Eome arose. The foundation of a city, in the strict 
sense, such as the legend assumes, is of course to be reckoned 
altogether out of the question : Eome was not built in a day." 
The same historian, while not denving that there was a mixture 
of different nationalities, rejects with scorn " the irrational opinion, 
that the Eoman nation was a mongrel people." He regards not 
only the Eamnians, but the Luceres, as a purely Latin stock, and 
makes far less than most other writers of the distinction between 
the Eomans and the Sabines. " It would appear," he says, " that, 
at a period very remote, when the Latin and Sabellian stocks were 
beyond question far less sharply contrasted in language, manners, 
and customs, than were the Eoman and the Samnite of a later 
age, a Sabellian communitv entered into a Latin canton union : 
and, as in the older and more credible traditions without exception 
the Titles take precedence of the Eamnians, it is probable that 


the intruding Tities compelled the older Ramnians to accept their 

association in the same state (synoikismos) "With the 

exception, perhaps, of isolated national institutions transplanted 
in connection with ritual, the existence of Sabellian elements can 
nowhere be pointed out at Rome ; and the Latin language, in par- 
ticular, furnishes absolutely no support to such a hypothesis. It 
■would, in fact, be more than surprising, if the Latin nation should 
have had its nationality in any sensible degree affected by the 
insertion of a single community from a national stock most 
closely related to it ; besides which, it must not be forgotten that, 
at the time when the Tities settled besides the Ramnians, Latin 
nationality rested on Latium as its basis, and not on Rome. The 
new tripartite Roman conmaonwealth was, notwithstanding some 
elements which, it is possible, were originally Sabellian, just 
what the community of the Ramnians had pre\'iously been, a 
portion of the Latin nation." Without pursuing the discussion 
further, we have said enough to indicate the main features in the 
different theories that are now held by scholars respecting the 
origin of Rome, and to show how much they resolve themselves 
into a question of the greater or lesser degree of influence which 
the Sabellian element exerted upon the Latin foundation of the 
state. The inquiry remains, whether we can trace the growth of 
the citv from its ffrst small beginnings on the Palatine. 

And here the historian is met by the problem, how a great city 
could have grown up on such a site as that of Rome, and by what 
conditions it obtained its decisive preponderance in Latium. For 
both in salubrity and fertility the site is inferior to most of the 
old Latin towns. It is deficient in fresh water, nor do the vine 
and fig trees, for which Italy is so famous, flourish in its imme- 
diate neighbourhood. It is exposed to inundations from the 
Tiber, the slight faU of which to the sea does not readily carry 
off' tlie waters that pour down from the Apennines; and the 
malaria, which now infests the lower parts of the city, if less 
prevalent during the flourishing period of Rome, must have been 
far worse when the valleys between the hiUs were swamps. The 
common legend implies that it was the pressure of political ueces- 
sity which caused a town to be built on a spot so uninviting : tlie 
most recent historian finds an explanation in the hypothesis, that 
Rome was the emporium of the Latins, as Caere was of the 
Etruscans. In support of this view. Dr. Mommsen cites the 
tradition that, when the territory of the city extended httle more 
than five miles in anv other direction from its walls, it held the 


BTiburb of Janicuhim on the right bank, and the whole course of 
the Tiber down to Ostia. Romnlus is said to have taken the 
district of the " seven hamlets " on the right bank and the salt- 
works at the mouth of the river from the Yeientes, and Ancus to 
have founded the port of Ostia and fortified Janiculum as a teU- 
de-^ont. The very name of the Mount of Janus proves at how 
early a period this suburb was attached to Rome ; and, among the 
traces of her possessions on the right bank of the Tiber, there lay, 
four miles below Eome, the grove of the creative goddess {Dea Did), 
the primitive seat of the Arval festival and brotherhood ; and 
there too were the lands of the Eomilii, whose name goes far to 
vindicate their claim as the oldest of the Eoman gentes. All this 
is confirmed by the importance attached, from the first age of 
the city, to the bridges across the Tiber. In one word, the site 
of Rome is as admirably adapted for an emporium as it is defective 
for mere habitation. Its hills ftmiish the only defensible position 
between the mouth of the river and the confluence of the Anio 
with the Tiber ; and its position, three miles below that confluence, 
commands the courses of both rivers. This view is confirmed by 
the early relations of Rome with the Etruscan emporium of Caere, 
by the port-dues levied from time immemorial at Ostia, by the 
comparatively early appearance in Rome of coined money, and of 
commercial treaties with transmarine states. Hence too we may 
account for the early fortification of the city, for the rapid growth 
of its population by the influx of foreign as well as Latin settlers, 
and for that vigorous development of urban hfe, still, however, 
restino- on an agricultural basis, which distino-uishes Rome from 
the rustic towns of Latium. It is not, of course, maintained that 
Rome was one of the great commercial cities of the world, like 
Carthage or even Corinth. Its mercantile importance was lim- 
ited by the strictly agricultural character of the country to which 
it served as the emporimn ; and it is only in relation to Latium 
that it had this character. To the question, how the Latins 
came to found a commercial city on their frontier river. Dr. 
Mommsen answers, — " Whether it was a resolve of the Latin con- 
federacy, or the clear-sighted genius of some unknown founder, 
or the natural development of traffic, that caUed the city of Rome 
into being, it is vain even to surmise." 

As to the extent of primitive Rome, tradition affords us more 
certain evidence. The original city occupied the Palatine hill 
alone, from the shape of which it derived its name of '" Square 
Rome " {Roma Quadrata). Its limits are traced by Tacitus, in a 


well-known passage, the discussion of whicli must be left to the 
topographers.* From the very first, the city was encompassed by 
the sacred belt of the Pomoerium,^ which could only be extended 
by those whose victories had enlarged the Roman territory, with 
the divine approval, signified by augury. But, at a period which 
is still within the traditional age of Romulus, suburbs were added 
to the city, each enclosed by its own ring-fence, and all connected 
with the circumvallation of the Palatine. Thus there was formed, 
almost from the earliest age, a " City of Seven Hills," within and 
distinct from the more famous seven hills of historic Rome ; and 
its existence was commemorated by the ancient feast of the Septi- 
montium. These seven hills were, the Palatine itself; the Cermor 
his (or Germalus), :j: on the declivity of the Palatine towards the 
valley between it and the Capitoline ; the Velia, or spur of the 
Palatine towards the Esquiline ; the Suhurra, an outlying fort on 
the low ground between the Esquiline and the Quirinal ; and the 
three summits of the Esquiline, § named Paguial, Oppius^ and Gis- 
pius. The memory of this state of things is preserved in the later 
division of the city into regions, three of which are the Palatine, 
the Suburran, and the Esquiline, the last being considered as 
inferior in consequence to the other two. There seems also to 
have been a suburb on the Csehan ; but it was not included in 
the Sejotimontiuni. The Capitol and the Aventine were probably 
also occupied as detached forts, if the expression may be used of 
the simple enclosures of that early age. Tliere is every reason to 
believe — especially if the theory of Mommsen be adopted — that 
the Mons Janiculus was occupied as a tete-de-pont to the primitive 
"bridge of piles " {pons sublicius) across the Tiber ; but not within 
the circuit of the fortifications. " The regulation," says Dr. 
Mommfeen, " which was adhered to as a ritual down to the latest 
times, that the bridge should be composed simply of wood, with- 
out iron, manifestly shows that in its original practical use it was 
meant to be a flying bridge, which must be capable of being easily 
at any time broken oif or burnt. We recognize in this circum- 
stance how insecure, for a long time, and liable to interruption 

* Tacit. Anna!, xii. 24 : see the article Eoma already quoted. 

f That is, post or pone muros, a space on each side of the boundary, whether the 
city was fortified or not, which must not be built upon, or profaned by any common 

:}: In the old Roman alphabet the letter c had (Uke the Greek T) the same force 
as G. 

§ The name of the Esquiline, almost certainly derived from ex-quilice^ that is, out- 
buildings^ marks it as the principal suburb of the city on the Palatine. 


was the command of the passage of the river on the part of the 
Roman community." 

Such was the original city of Rome, usually called the city of 
Romuhis, in its more extended compass. Of the theories respect- 
ing other cities on the other hills, belonging to the different Italian 
races, and contributing various elements to the Rome of history, 
there is but one that will stand the test of criticism. The Quirinal, 
which lay entirely beyond the bounds assigned to the circuit of 
old Rome, is marked by uniform tradition as the seat of an inde- 
pendent community. The worship of Mars, the founder of the 
city, was observed doubly on the Palatine and the Quirinal ; and 
the latter hill had its " old head fortress " {Capitolium Vetus) 
with temples corresponding to those in the Capitol itself. Nay 
more, there is a curious distinction in the very names of the hills 
on which the two cities stood. While the other eminences within 
the circuit of the later city are called Mounts {monies), the Quirinal 
and its connected spur, the Yiminal, bore the name of Hills {colles\ 
and the Quirinal was often designated simply as the BUU. On this 
nomenclature Dr. Mommsen bases a distinction of the two peoples 
into Romans of the Mount {montani) and of the Hill {collini) in 
place of the ordinary division into the Romans and Sabine Quirites. 
Still he admits that a diversity of race may have lain at the foimda- 
tion of this distinction between the two neighbourmg cities, and that 
the etymological connection of Quirites, Quirinus, and Quirinalis, 
with Cures may probably be correct, while he strongly opposes the 
view which traces the most distinctive institutions of Rome to a 
Sabine origin. Such is the present state of the question, which 
we are content to indicate to those who are qualified and willing to 
pursue it. Meanwhile, with whatever diversities of opinion as to 
the different races represented by these communities, all are agreed 
that the two cities of the Palatine and the Quirinal were the chief 
constituent elements in the great city of the Seven Hills, which 
was at length enclosed by the walls that bear the name of 
Servius Tullius. To trace the steps by which the power of Rome 
was consolidated, abroad as well as at home, before that epoch, we 
must return to the pictm-esque traditions of the popular mythical 

The death of Numa, says the legend, was followed by another 
interregnum, which was temiinated by the election of Tullus 
Hostilius by the citizens assembled in then* cm*ise.* The ponti- 

* It is to be observed that the office of the Inteirex and the elective monarchy are 
now Been fully established. 
VOL. 11. — 12. 

178 ROME UNDER THE KiyGS. [Chap. XX. 

fical chroniclers attempted to preserve the srmmetry of their 
tripartite system, bv making the third king of Home the repre- 
sentative of the Luceres, as the first had been of the Eamnes, 
and the second of the Tities. In this legend, however, the 
Lnceres are clearly Latin, not Etruscan. TnUus represents the 
Latins who did not trace their origin from Alba ; his grandfather * 
having come from Mednllia to aid Eomulus against the Sabines. 
But, on the other hand, he is connected with the Sabines also by 
the position of MedulJia — a Latin colony in the Sabine territory, 
between the Tiber and the Anio ; — such are the wavering indi- 
cations of these traditions. His connection with the- Luceres is 
marked by his residence on the Caelian Mount, which he assigned 
as an abode to the poor who had no homes on the other hills, and 
to the strangers who flocked to Home or were transported thither 
from the conquered cities. Li the legends of his reign, we may 
trace two distinct elements, preserved respectively by Livy and 
Dionysius, of whom the former follows chiefly the poetical fables, 
the latter the scarcely less fabulous records of the pontifis. 

There are some poetical inventions, which, however destitute of 
any basis in fact, claim the notice of the historian, because their 
hold on the minds of men is itself an historic truth. Such is the 
Trojan War ; and such is the magnificent legend of the conquest 
of Alba by Tullus Hostilius. That the power of Eome was 
enlarged by the destruction of her greatest rival in Latium, in the 
interval before the final settlement of her constitution, ls clear 
from her subsequent history, and from the disappearance of Alba. 
The poetic chronicler, and especially those who sang the exploits 
of the Horatian Gens, placed this event in the reign of Hostilius, 
and decorated it with the beautiful legend of the Horatii and 
Curiatii, and the tragic fate of Mettius Fufetius, 

The growing power of Eome led to predatory collisions on the 
border between her territory and that of Alba, of which both 
states mutually complained, and both refused redress. The Alban 
dictator, Cains Cluilius, led his army to a spot within five miles 
of Rome, long after marked by the entrenchment called "the 
Cluilian Dyke " {foiai Cluilid). Mettius Fufetius, having been 
elected his successor, was obhged to march back against king 
Tullus, who had meanwhile invaded the territory of Alba, The 
two armies were drawn up in battle array, when it was agreed 
that the quarrel should be settled by three champions chosen from 
each side. It happened that in either army there were three twin 

* Hothu Hottilius, the eponyrmu of the Gem Hoslilia. 

B.C. 673— 641.] THE HORATII AND CUEIATn. 179 

brothers,* equally matched in age, birth, and courage. The 
Romans were named the Horatii, the Albans the Curiatii.+ 
These were chosen as the champions ; and it was agreed that the 
victory should decide which people should serve the other. The 
combat was fought in sight of both armies, with an obstinate 
courage worthy of the stake. At length two of the Horatii were 
slain, and all the Curiatii were wounded The third Roman, 
though alone, was unhurt. He feigned to fly, and his enemies 
pursued, as well as their failing strength would permit. But, as 
soon as they were separated and faint with loss of blood, the 
Horatius turned upon his first pursuer, and easily despatched 
him ; after him the second ; and then the third. 

So the Albans became subject to king Tullus ; and the Romans 
returned home in triumph, Horatius marching in front with the 
spoils of the Alban brothers. At the Capenian Gate, he was met 
by his sister, who had been betrothed to one of the Curiatii. 
When she saw her brother bearing the blood-stained garment 
which her own hands had woven for her lover, she could not 
restrain her grief. Incensed at the tears which brought an evil 
omen upon his victory, Horatius drew his sword and stabbed liis 
sister to the heart, exclaiming, '' So perish the Roman maiden, 
who shall weep for her country's enemy." 

For this horrid deed Horatius was ordered by the senate and 
people to be put on his trial for his life. An old law had said : 
" The Two Men shall give judgment on the murderer. If he 
appeal from their judgment, let the appeal be tried. If their 
judgment be confirmed, cover his head : hang him with a rope on 
an accursed tree : :}: scourge him either within or without the 
boundary of the city." The two judges condemned Horatius to 
this terrible doom : he appealed to the people, supported by his 
father, who declared that, had he not himself approved the deed, 
he would have punished it by his paternal power of life and death. 
The people decided in his favour; but, to expatiate the blood- 
shed, Horatius was led by his father, with his head covered, 

* The Latin excels the English language in the possession of a single word {ierffemini} 
to express a relationship, of which, as Sir Walter Scott says in another case, we have oc- 
casion to speak and think so often. 

f Another form of the story reverses the names. This is doubtless the Latin legend, 
as each people would of course claim the victor. The number of the champions is an ex- 
ample of the ternary system of the Latins. 

J Arbor infelix was a tree which bore no fruit: it was forbidden to hang a criminal 
on a fruitful tree {arbor felix). The sacred pomcerium must not be desecrated by the 
execution or the preliminary scourging. 


beneath tlie gibbet, wbich was preserved in after ages, and called 
tlie " Sister's Gibbet," and expiatory sacrifices were continually 
performed by the dan of the Horatii. This story embodies, 
amidst its picturesqne details, the ancient law for the trial of 
murder by the " Qnaestores Parricidii," and the important consti- 
tational ri^t, which belonged to a Eoman citizen, of an appeal 
(prawcatio) to the whole people in capital cases ; one form of 
the great principle, that a man should be tried by his peers.* 

The Albans chafed nnder the newly imposed yoke ; and their 
dictator, Mettiiis Fnfetius, thought he saw a chance of shaking it 
off in a war in which Tnllns presently became engaged. The city 
of Fidenae, abont five miles north-east of Eome, in the Sabine 
territory, but said to have been colonized from the Etruscan Yeii, 
has been mentioned among the reputed conquests of Komulus. 
Those oonqaests may be miderstood b& representing the earliest 
extenaon of the Eoman power over the Latin cities between the 
Tiber and the Anio. Of these cities, Fidenae stood in a peculiar 
position, from its connection with YeiL As the tete de pord of 
the Etmscans on the left bank of the Tiber, it was supported by 
an the force of the VeientineB ; and in after ages its site was de- 
Toted by formulae of execration, as one of the bitterest enemies of 
Bome. The Fidenates — says the legend — still leaned towards the 
Yeientines, and their inclination to revolt was confirmed by the 
promise of Hfttins Fnfetins, to desert to them in the midst of the 
battle. Tnllns eroesed the Anio to attack Fidenae, and the Yeien- 
tines marched acrms the Tiber to its supj>ort. The Etruscans 
were posted on the right, rating upon the river ; the Fidenates 
on the left, towards the hills: Tullus and the Romans were 
opposed to the former ; Mettios, ranged with his Albans oppc«ite 
to the latter, had the opportnnity, bnt not the courage, to carry his 
tzeason into effect. He drew off to the hills on the flank of the 
two armies, and watched the turn of the battle from the higher 
ground. Seeing the !Bomans alarmed at this desertion, Tullus 
rowed temples to Palene^ and FrighLf The Fidenates, who had 
seen in the first movement of Mettins the foMlment of his prom- 
ise, b^^ to doubt when he stopped half way, and wavered in 
their attack. Upon this the Komans took new courage: their 
imp^uous attack drove back the Fidenates, while the double 

* The qipeil was tdkai vncj by the 1s«b of flie Deoennirs, bat restored bj the Lez 
Viieritt el BonAa^ ia KXL 449. Uider llie kiogB, it eoidd cnfy be made by tbe royal 
pemuaan; aodflieflaiienileliddof ana|ipealfiaB«iieDictatoc 

f i\dlor and Poor, an eian^le of tbedeifiealian of psefikns by the Bantana. 

B.C. 673—641.] DESTRUCTI05T OF ALBA. 181 

traitor Mettius fell upon their flank, and put them to utter rout. 
The Tictorious Eomans turned upon the Yeientines, and drove 
them back upon the Tiber, slaying many, while many more were 
drowned. For that dav, Tullus dissembled his knowledore of the 
treachery of Mettius ; but on the folloTdng day he called a council 
of the whole army. The Albans came unarmed, as was their 
custom when summoned to hear an address from a general. Thev 
were surrounded by the armed Eomans : TuUus charged Mettius 
with treason ; and ordered him to be tied between two chariots, 
which were then driven opposite ways ; and so his body was torn 
asunder, as his mind had been divided in the battle. Alba was 
doomed to destruction, and her people were removed to Eome, 
where their abode was fixed upon the Cselian Mount, and Tullus 
himself took up his residence in their midst. 

Such is the poetic legend of the fall of the chief city of the 
Latins, giving, as usual, not only all the success, but all the right, 
to the Eomans. It is fruitless to enquire whether the treachery 
may not have been on the side of Tullus and the treason of Mettius 
a mere pretext ; for in truth, the only historic fact in the legend 
is the destruction of Alba by the Eomans.* The temples on the 
Alban Mount were spared, when all the other buildings were 
levelled with the groimd; and the ancient Latin worship was 
performed there by the Eomans as solemnly as at Eome. 
Down to the latest age of the republic, the consuls celebrated 
the "Latin Holiday," {Feriw Latinoi) with annual sacrifices 
to Jupiter Latiaris on the Alban Mount ; and generals, to whom 
the Senate had refused a triumph in Eome itself, ofiered their 
thanksgivings at the same more ancient sanctuary. Eome 
founded on the destruction of Alba the claim to succeed to her 

* Niebuhr regards it as more than doubtful whether Alba was destroyed bv the 
Romans at all ; for, instead of its territory becoming the property of Rome, we find 
the Latins holding their meetings at the Alban Mount, as long as they remained a 
nation. He rather thinks that it fell before a general revolt of the older states of 
Latium (the Prisci Latini), among whom it had risen up as a domineering intruder — a 
revolt in which Rome may have taken a part. The facts, that the deported Latins of 
Alba appear at Rome in the full possession of the rights of citizens, that the king 
takes up his residence among them, and that Alban families obtained places of the 
highest honour and trust in the Roman commonwealth — as the Tullii, the Servilii, 
the Qxunctii, and others — are alleged as indicating an internal dissension at Alba, 
and the voluntary secession of a party in the state to Rome. But such a secession is 
not unhkely to have been followed by war ; and Mommsen argues that " the circum- 
stance of Rome claiming to be in a religious and poUtical point of view the heir-at- 
law of Alba, may be regarded as decisive of the matter ; for such a claim could not be 
based on the migration of individual clans to Rome, but only on the conquest of the 


presidency over the thirty cities of the Latin confederacy. That 
the claim was speedily admitted, seems to be implied in the state- 
ment that Tullus made a league with the other Latins after the 
destruction of Alba. But the relations of Eome to the cities of 
Latium in general will be better considered at a later point of our 
narrative. Meanwhile it is to be observed that Livy expressly 
states that the new citizens from. Alba were enrolled among the 
Patres, — that is the patrician order, for the Senate itself was not 
augmented by its third hundred till the reign of the elder Tarquin. 
He adds that ten troops (turmw), that is, 100 men, were added to 
the knights from among the Albans. These statements clearly 
point to the completion of the patrician order by the enrolment 
of the third tribe — the Luceres ; and in agreement with this view, 
the Luceres are always connected with the Cselian Mount. 

.The war with the Sabines, who had illtreated Roman traders at 
the temple of Feronia, at the foot of Mount Soracte, is made by 
the tradition the origin of the great festivals of the Saturnalia 
and Opalia, at the close of the Eoman year, in fulfilment of vows 
made by Tullus to Saturn and Ops. He is said to have continued 
the contest with the Etruscans about Fidenae by carrying the war 
into the temtory of Yeii ; but no lasting successes were gained over 
either city till much later. The only great work ascribed to him 
at Home is the Senate House, called the Curia Hostilia^hmii (mihe 
side of the Comitium facing towards the Palatine ; the same spot, 
though not the same building, in which the Senate met to the last 
days of the Eepublic. Amidst his warlike deeds, Tullus had been 
neglectful of the worship of the gods. Prodigies on the Alban 
Mount revealed the wrath of the deserted Latin deities : a plague 
broke out among the people, and attacked the king himself. 
Terrified into superstition, and unable to obtain responses from 
the gods, he attempted to evoke Jupiter Elicius with the rites 
prescribed by Numa; but he only succeeded in drawing down 
lightning which destroyed him, with his whole house, after he had 
reigned for two and thirty years. 

This fearful judgment recalled the minds of the people to the 
ordinances of Numa, and they elected for their fourth king his 
daughter's son, the Sabine Ancus Marcius. He began his reign 
by causing the laws of IS^uma to be inscribed on a white board, 
and hung up in the forum for all to read. For the better enforce- 
ment of the laws, he excavated a prison in the side of the Capitoline 
hill overhanging the forum. Beneath this prison, Seiwius Tullius 
is said to have dug the horrible dungeon called the Tullicmum 

B. 0. 640—616.] REIGN OF ANGUS MAEGroS. 183 

(wMcli still exists) twelve feet underground, into which, state 
criminals, as for example the conspirators with Catiline, were let 
down and strangled. To Ancus are inscribed the interesting cere- 
monies of the declaration of war and the making of treaties 
by the College of Heralds {Fetiales), and then* spokesmen, the 
" Father-in-chief of the Eoman people ; " * but these rites were 
doubtless a part of the earliest Roman religion. 

Ancus none the less pursued the warlike enterprises of his pre- 
decessor, and especially the further conquest of the Latins, whom 
the peaceful beginning of his reign had encouraged to new aggres- 
sions. In a long and obstinate war he took many of the Latin towns, 
and removed to Eome several thousands of their inhabitants, whom 
he settled on the Aventine Mount and in the valley between it 
and the Palatinoj surrounding this new quarter by a ditch called 
the " Dyke of the Quirites." On the other side, he extended the 
Roman territory beyond the Tiber and down its com-se as far as 
the sea. He took from the Etruscans of Yeii the Msesian wood 
and the salt works at the mouth of the Tiber ; built the port of 
Ostia, and fortified the suburb of Janiculum, which he united to 
Rome by the " Bridge of Piles " (Pons SvMicius). In these tra- 
ditions we trace the full establishment of Rome as a maritime 
emporium under her elective kings. 

The most interesting point in the story of Ancus Marcius, as 
bearing upon the development of the Roman state, is his treat- 
ment of the conquered Latins, as contrasted with that of Tullus 
towards the Albans. As to the removal of thousands of Latins 
in mass to Rome, a word must be said presently ; but, whether 
more or fewer, they are said to have dwelt on the Aventine as 
freemen, but without any share in the government of the state. 
They were citizens (cives), but not of the highest class {optimo 
jure). Their condition was the origin of that middle state between 
the citizen and the foreigner, which was described as the " Latin 
Right " {Jus Latii), In so far as this statement represents an 
historic fact, it seems reasonable to infer that the full citizenship 
granted to the Alban Latins of the Cselian was the reward of a 
submission more or less voluntary ; while the class represented by 
the other Latins, of the Aventine, were in the fullest sense a con- 
quered people. A further explanation has been sought in the 
national affinities of the two branches of the Latin nation. All 
the traditions represent Alba as founded by a conquering race 
amidst the older inhabitants of Latium (the Prisoi Latini). ISTow 

* Pater Patratus Populi Romani. 

184 EOME HSDEPw THE KmGS. [Chap. XX. 

if, as K'ie'buhr supposes, the latter were more nearly akin to the 
Pelasgians, and the former to the Oscans, — an afiinity shared by 
the Eamnians of Rome, — it is easy to understand how the one 
class should be received into the state, of which the fundamental 
idea was a patriarchal brotherhood, and how the other should be 
admitted only to that less intimate association, by which it was 
always the policy of Rome to strengthen her body of citizens. 
But, after all, it is of the less importance to interpret the legend, 
as history vouches for the fact that, in all aristocratic govern- 
ments there grows up, almost insensibly, an order of commons, as 
we may call them, — citizens who are personally independent, but 
who form, at first, no part of the governing body. 

That such an order existed at Rome from an early period is not 
only an undoubted fact, but a fact of the utmost consequence in 
the political history of the state ; for that history is made up, in a 
great degree, of the long conflict between this class and the patri- 
cians. Their importance in the state is indicated by their very name, 
the PLEBELSJsrs {plebes), that is, the cora^lerrient o^ filling ujp of the 
community, — the Many.^ We must carefully avoid calling them 
the People / for this word, as we have seen, signified the ruling 
class, exclusion from which was the characteristic of the Plebs.\ 
Where is the origin of this body to be sought ? !Not in the class 
of Clients, — though indeed this opinion has still advocates who 
deserve respect, — for the Clients seem clearly distinguished from 
the Plebeians by their privilege of enrolment among the patrician 
gentes, on the one hand, and on the other by their more limited 
enjoyment of personal independence. Besides, unless the light of 
tradition is to be utterly excluded, we must believe that the Clients 
had existed in the state long before the first rise of the Plebeians. 
The story of the settlement of the Latins at Rome by Ancus Marcius 
supplies another answer, which undoubtedly contains some ele- 
ments of truth. That the Plebeians belonged to the Latin, and pos- 
sibly other Italian races, is proved by their language, religion, and 
every other mark of national affinity. That they were a conquered 

* The root pUh (in old Latin plep) is the same as the pie or plev, in plenus and 
compho, and in the Greek TTlrjdoQ and Tro/.vg 

\ It was not till the last age of the republic that this distinction came to be broken 
down, and the word plebs used vaguely for the lower orders, in opposition to the 
nobUes. Our own language inherits the confusion doubly, in the use of the words 
people, common people, and so forth, and in the contemptuous sense of plebeian. It is 
not, however, impossible that the words may be ultimately of the same root po-pul-us (a 
reduplication of the root poT) signifying the full body of citizens. But this is only a 

B.C. 640—616.] 



people, explains their position in the state, as free but politically- 
unenfranchised. That, though conquered, thej were not reduced 
to slavery is so consistent with Eoman policy, as hardly to need 
the explanation of respect for kindred blood. In the earliest times 
at least, the social state of Eome did not rest, like that of the 
Greek republics, on the basis of slavery. Unlike the Greeks, the 
Romans acknowledged the natural right of man to freedom. There 
were indeed slaves ; but iho^ were not numerous ; and they seem 
to have been engaged entirely in domestic service. Among a purely 
agricultural people, the employment of slave labor to enrich the 
master by manufactures was unkno^^-n ; and the small farms culti- 
vated by the clients, left no room for agrarian servitude, until the 
vast tracts of public land, which the nobles secured for themselves, 
required a fresh supply of labourers. Then it was that slavery- 
became a considerable institution, bringing with it the demorali- 
zation and ultimate ruin which it ever entails. It was the neces- 
sity of Rome, from the very fii-st, to strengthen the state by the 
accession of new citizens: and it was equally her character to 
respect the institutions of the conquered peoples. Especially would 
this respect be shown to those who worshipped the same gods, and 
observed the same patriarchal customs that they themselves held 
in reverence. Their condition has been compared to that of the 
Lacedaemonian Perimci, as distinguished from the enslaved Helots. 
The Plebeians had their own Gentes and Familire, with their own 
sacred rites, which, however, they only exercised under the super- 
intendence of the patrician pontiffs. But, so far from answering 
to the modern sense of the word plebeian, they had a nobility of 
their own, which traced back its origin beyond many of the patri- 
cian houses, and which attained the highest distinction in the 
history of the state ; but they had no place in the three ancient 
tribes or curiae or patrician gentes nor any share in their religious 
rites. Hence it was that the Aventine was never enclosed, like the 
Caelian, within the jponvarium^'^ because that boundary was con- 
secrated by the patrician sacrifices. In one word, they formed no 
part of the Populus Roman us. "When Tarquinius Prisons attempted 
to raise them to an equality with the Patricians, by enrolling the 
noblest plebeian gentes in three new tribes, the plan was opposed 
by the augur Attus jSlavius,t and all that the king could effect was 

* The sacred pomoerium of a Latin city must not be confounded with its actual walls. 
The former might (nay, unless solemnly removed, nucst) be retained from religious rever- 
ence, while the latter were laid out from motives of convenience. The wall of Servius 
Tullius embraced the Aventine. t See p. 190. 


to attach them to the old tribes in a subordinate relation, by the 
names of the " Second Ramnes, Titienses, and Luceres." Their 
gentes also were distingaished from those of the three ancient 
tribes as the " Lesser Gentes " {Gentls Minores), the same epithet 
that was before applied to the Luceres in relation to the older 
tribes. On the other hand, thev were not, like the clients, attached 
as dependents to patrician houses, or to individual patrons. Thej 
were the subjects of the whole PopuliM ; and, if in any sense they 
could be said to have a patron, it was ihe king. They formed his 
" following " in war, as the clients were the followers of the patri- 
cians ; and their close relation to him may perhaps be recognized 
in the favour shown them by Tarquinius Priscus, and the position 
given to them in the state by Servius Tulhus. It seems, indeed, 
not improbable that, had the wise pohcy of that king been persisted 
in, the joint power of the king and the plebeians might have so 
counterbalanced the ascendancy of the patricians, as to have anti- 
cipated by centuries the great political invention of modem times, 
and to have secured for Rome the blessing of a limited monarchy, 
saving her from the long and ruinous conflict between the patrician 
and plebeian parties through which her aristocratic repubhc passed 
into a despotism. 

The position of the plebeians — in respect of their rights and 
duties in the state — was that of a modified or partial citizenship. 
They had no share in the " public right " of the " franchise and 
honours ; ■ ' and of the " private right," they enjoyed freedom of 
commerce, but not of intermarriage with the patrician houses.* 
Such a restriction was of course broken through in practice, as it 
is even in nations where the strictest rules of caste prevail ; but 
the patrician who married a plebeian woman degraded his offspring 
to the condition of plebeians ; and this appears to have been the 
origin of those plebeian families which bore the names of patrician 
gentes. + Li judicial matters their condition was one of pecuh'ar 
hardship ; as they had no legal rights to assert against the patri- 
cians, 60 neither had they, like chents, the protection of a patron. 
Though thus excluded from the best privileges of the state, they 
were bound to shed their blood in its defence ; and, in recompense 
of their military service, they were secured in the possession of the 
lands they cultivated. We are told, indeed, that when the con- 
quered Latins were removed by Ancus Marcius to the Aventine, their 
lands became the property of the Eoman state. Now, it is quite 

* See p. 161. 

f Thus the plebeian MarceUi were of the Claudian gens. 

B.C. 640— 616.] ROMAN" TEKUEE OF LAKD. 187 

incredible tliat the " many thousand " inhabitants of the Latin 
cities could all find abodes on the Aventine, and in the yallej 
below ; and we have ample evidence that the mass of the plebeians 
were landholders in Latium. 

The explanation of this fact involves a matter of supreme im- 
portance towards understanding the whole history of Eome — the 
possession and occupation of land by the citizens. The territory of 
the city, in its earliest age, was a small district, which a man might 
walk round in a day, bounded on the west and north by the Tiber 
and the Anio, and reaching on the east and south not more than 
five or six miles from the city. The Dyke of Cluilius was always 
considered as dividing this original '* Ager Roman us *' from the 
rest of Latium. The district was connected with the city by a close 
religious bond ; for auspices could be taken within its boundaries. 
It was regarded as the property of the state, that is, of the Populus 
Romanus or patrician houses, for whom it was cultivated by their 
clients ; but in what manner it was divided among them, we are 
not informed. The king had a portion of it for his demesne. As 
the territory of the state grew by successful wars, the lands of the 
conquered people were regarded as a prize of victory, and became 
the " Land of the People " {Ager PuUleu-s).^ It was divided 
among the patricians for occupation {possessio) ; but the real 
ownership (do'ininium) remained with the whole state ; and the '* pos- 
sessors " were bound to pay a rent of one-tenth of the produce of 
arable land, and one-fifth of that of fruit trees, to the general 
revenue. The plebeians were of course excluded from this arrange- 
ment, as forming no part of the '* People ; " though it seems that 
they were permitted to feed their cattle on the public pasture 
land. But though politically disqualified from holding property, 
they were not shut out from all share in the soil which had been 
won partly by their blood. At every addition to the Ager Pub- 
licus, a portion was assigned to the Plebeians, not on terms like 
the " possession " of the patricians, but as the individual property 
of the allottees. How the patricians withheld this right, and how 
they evaded their own payments to the state, and in what conflicts 
their grasping pohcy involved the commonwealth, we shall ere 
long see. 

* It is of vital importance to bear in mind, that pitblicus is here used in its strict 
sense, as the adjective oi populus, and that the populus to whom it refers is the Populus 
Romanus, or patrician houses. There are several points in connection with the Ager 
Publicus into which we abstain from entering. Full information will be found in Mr. 
Long's articles Ager, Agrarice Leges, &c., in Snuth's Dictionary of Greek and Roman 


From these arrangements for the tenure of public land in the 
historical age of Kome, we might infer that the original plebeians 
had a share in the conquered lands of Latimn. The true state of 
the case seems to have been still more favourable. Whether in 
consideration of their kindred blood, or as a part of the terms of 
their submission, or from the impolicy of introducing a new body, 
who are said to have been as numerous as the previous citizens, in 
a state of disaffection — it would seem that the greater portion of 
their land was restored to them in absolute ownership, subject 
only to a certain tribute. Those who removed to Eome were 
probably a minority, who preferred to take up their residence in 
the city. In the assignment of the Aventine as their residence, 
and in the favour shown them by the kings, there seems no reason 
to doubt that we have genuine facts of history. This connection 
with the city raised the plebeians above the disadvantage of a 
rural condition, and secured a centre of union to their whole body. 
The independence founded upon the solid basis of landed property 
distinguished them completely from the clients, and gave them 
the means of resisting the encroachments of the patricians, whose 
jealous policy soon began to aim at reducing them to the condition 
of serfs. The whole subject is thus summed up by Professor Mai- 
den, in his admirable discussion of the earliest Eoman history : — 
" While the Patricians held possessions by sufferance in the Public 
Domain, the private property in land (with the exception of the 
small district which comprised the regions of the three patrician 
tribes) belonged almost exclusively to the Plebeians. To them 
alone had any portion of the conquered territories been sold or 
assigned by public authority. On the other hand, property in 
land distinguished the Plebeians from the Clients. The Clients 
received precarious grants from the possessions of their Patrons in 
the Public Domain ; but it is not probable that, in the earlier 
ages, they were capable of acquiring property in land in their own 
persons. But the more important form of the distinction was 
this, that the Clients exercised all trades and mechanical arts, 
which were strictly forbidden to the free and independent citizen. 
Agriculture was the only lawful employment of the plebeian 
citizen ; and therefore the Plebeian who did not hold property in 
land, though he might not be compelled to attach hunself to a 
Patron, in all his political rights was reduced to a level with the 
Clients."* The more clearly we can understand the original 

* History of Rome, in the Library of Useful Knowledge, Lond. 1833. This work 


condition of the Plebeians, the better shall we perceive the rela- 
tion of the history of Rome to the social history of the world. 
This point is of the more importance as it has been for ages the 
subject of constant misrepresentation ; and the watchwords, under 
which the Roman patricians and plebeians fought their great con- 
stitutional battles, have been misapplied to the wildest theories 
of modern times. Of all the perverted uses of history, none is 
stranger than the passion with which the party conflicts of other 
ages are confounded with our own. 

The death of Ancus Marcius was followed by the accession of a 
new dynasty, whose founder — according to the popular legend — 
came from Etruria, but derived his origin from Greece. And 
if, as is the prevailing opinion of scholars, we have come to a 
point at which tradition contains a greater portion of historic 
truth than before, there is no good reason for rejecting the latter 
part of this statement, which would furnish another example of 
Etruscan influence in Etrm-ia. The story goes, that Demaratus, 
a Corinthian merchant,* settled at Tarquinii, on the Etruscan 
coast. His son married a noble Etruscan lady named Tanaquil ; 
and in vii'tue of this marriage he ranked as a Lucumo, if we may 
believe the Romans, who know him by no other name. But his 
foreign descent hindered his advancement with the jealous Etrus- 
cans, and his high-spirited wife could not brook that her husband 
should hold a place below her kindred. Rome lay open to the 
ambition of foreigners ; and thither Tanaquil and her husband 
bent their course, with their two sons and a numerous retinue. 
They had reached the suburb of Janiculum, when an eagle, 
which had been hovering over the chariot, making a sudden 
stoop bore away the stranger's cap, earned it aloft to the sky, 
and then returning placed it on his head. Tanaquil's skill in 
augury saw the omen of her husband's future elevation. On 
his arrival at Rome, he was received as a citizen, by the name of 
Lucius Tarquinius, from his birthplace ; his followers were also 
admitted to the citizenship ; and he became the founder of the 
Geiis Tarquinia, the first Tuscan gens that is known to have 
existed at Rome. As the head of his race, as well as the first of 
the two kings of his name, he is distinguished by the title of 

though unfortunately a fragment, contains the most masterly account of the views of the 
best scholars on the early Roman history at the date of its pubUcation. 

* The cause assigned for his leaving Corinth is the oppression of a tyrant, who, if 
we could trust the common chronology, would be Cypselus, the predecessor of Peri- 


Taeuqinius Priscus. He rose quickly in favour witli Ancus 
Marcius, to whom he rendered great services in the Latin v^^ars, by 
his military talent and his numerous following ; while by his 
wealth, and by the superior knowledge derived from his Greek 
and Etruscan training, he gained equal favour with the people. 

Ancus named him as the guardian of his two sons ; but, on the 
king's death, after a reign of thirty-four years, Tarquin is said to 
have offered himself as a candidate for the vacant throne, to which 
he was elected by the suffrages of all the people. The Roman 
monarchy, as we have seen, was elective ; and though a member 
of the royal house might naturally have some preference,* this 
consideration was not likely to prevail over the advantage of 
having a king of proved ability and in the full vigour of his age, 
rather than an untried youth. The difficulty involved in the 
election of an Etruscan rests partly on the figment of a tacit 
understanding that the king should be chosen alternately from the 
Ramnians and the Titles, an arrangement which implies the per- 
petual exclusion of the Luceres. It has been suggested f that Tar- 
quin was elected with the very purpose of raising the Luceres to an 
equality with the other tribes, a measure which he carried out by 
adding 100 members to the senate, which now had its full number 
of 300. He also doubled the number of tlie knights, by creating 
three new centuries, as some say from the Luceres, but, according 
to the more probable statement, from the noblest families of the 
plebeians.:}; That this was an attempt to raise the plebeians to a 
share in the privileges of the Roman people, which the patricians 
frustrated by the weapon of religion, — which they always well knew 
how to wield, — is implied in the picturesque legend of Attus 
Navius. This augur forbad the king to carry out his intention of 
creating three new centuries of horsemen, which were to have 
been called after his own name, and placed on an equal footing 
with the Ramnes, Titienses, and Luceres. Tarquin, in mockery of 
the augur's art, said : — " Tell me now by thy auguries whether 
the thing I have now in my mind may be done or not." " It 
may," replied Attius JSTavius, after he had consulted the gods by 
augury. " "Well, then," rejoined the king, " it was in my mind 
that thou shouldst cut this whetstone in two with this razor.'' 
The augur took the razor and severed the whetstone ; Tarquin 

* As, for example, in the election of Ancus Marcius, the grandson of Numa. 
f See Newman's Regal Home, chap. viii. 

X That such a preponderance should have been given to one of the three ancient 
tribes is quite incredible. 


desisted from his scheme, and learnt to respect the omens.* The 
whetstone and razor were buried under a sacred covering in the 
Comitium, and a veiled statue of Attus ISTavius was afterwards set 
up over the spot. The three centuries were, however, added to the 
knights, but with the names of the " Second Kamnes, Titienses, 
and Luceres." Such is the story of Livy, who was probably mis- 
led by the exclusive application, in later times, of the names of 
the three old tribes to the centuries of the Equites. "What seems 
to be the true meaning of the legend has been already explained, 
in speaking of the plebeians.f 

It was, then, rather the moral strength gained by the recogni- 
tion of the place which the plebeians had won for themselves in 
the state, than the doubling of his cavalry, that enabled Tarquin 
to gain great successes against the Latins and the Sabines. He 
took and destroyed the wealthy city of Apiolse, and recovered a 
large number of other Latin towns, which seem to have been lost 
after the death of Ancus.ij: Following up these successes, Tarquin 
was the first Roman king who entered the Apennines, to war upon 
the fierce nation of the ^qui, in the upper valley of the Anio. 
The Sabines seized the opportunity to cross the Anio, and ravaged 
the lands of Rome up to the very rampart of the city. Driven 
back with difiiculty, they renewed the attack in the following year, 
making a bridge of boats over the Anio, a little above its con- 
fluence with the Tiber. In the decisive battle that ensued, Tar- 
quin gained the victory by his cavalry, while he destroyed the 
Sabine bridge by means of blazing rafts floated down the Anio, 
the fords of which above the enemy's camp he had also occupied. 
Few of the Sabines escaped to the mountains : the fate of the 
other fugitives was announced at Rome by their arms borne down 
the Tiber. The spoils collected on the field of battle were gathered 
into a heap and burnt as an oflering to Yulcan, the prisoners and 
the recovered spoil being sent to Rome. Carrying the war into 

* It is hardly worth while to point out the obvious inconsistency of Tarquin's alleged 
contempt for the augur's art with the augury which attended his own entrance into 
Rome. The further absurdity of an Etruscan despising augury will be variously viewed 
according to the opinion that it was, or not, a specially Etruscan art. 

f See p. 185. We have a direct testimony, preserved by the grammarian Festus, 
that Tarquin wished to change the tribes estabUshed by Romulus, and that, as the result, 
" the body of Roman citizens {civiias Romano) was distributed mto six parts, namely, the 
first and second Titienses, Ramnes, and Luceres." 

X These successes of the Latins would seem to imply that the constitutional struggle, 
connected with the election of Tarquin and with his new institutions, had been of import- 
ance enough to absorb the attention of the Romans. 


the Sabine territory, Tarquin took Collatia, an old Latin town near 
the Anio,* and gave it as an appanage to his nephew, who had 
been named Egeriusf ("'the Needy"), but was now known as 
Lucius Tarquinius CoUatinus, a name famous in the story of the 
last Tarquin. 

It was in the Sabine campaign that Tarquin vowed to build the 
great triune temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva on the Satur- 
nian hill, for which he only lived to prepare the ground. As the 
workmen were digging the foundations, they disinterred a human 
head. The augurs saw in the discoveiy dn omen that the spot 
was destined to become the Head of the whole world {caput orbis 
teri'CB), and the new temple was called the Capiiol {Cajpitoliurn). 
The name was afterwards extended to the whole collection of 
sacred buildings on the Capitoline Hill. 

Tarquin adorned the city with other great works of utility and 
magnificence, the chief of which remains to our own day in the 
Cloaca Maxima^ or Great Sewer, constructed to drain the marshy 
hollows between the Tiber and the Palatine, and between this hill 
and the Capitoline and Aventine. In the changes brought about 
by the ages, our own has once more learnt that even drains are 
not an unfit object of enthusiastic admiration ; and after twenty- 
fi^ve centuries of desolating war, the discovery that the public 
health is worth the care of governments has at last produced 
works that surpass the " low-level drainage " of Rome. Mean- 
while, the fabric which excited the astonishment of the Au- 
gustan age for its massive structure, wliich had bid defiance to 
time, earthquakes, and inundations for 600 years, has endured 
four times that period, with scarcely a stone displaced. The 
mouth of the Cloaca Maxima is still seen opening into the Tiber 
a little below the southern end of the Insula Tiberina^ in a quay- 
wall which must have been constructed at the same time. Its 
structm-e shows, as we have abeady said, a knowledge of the 
arch.:{: It is a tunnel, vaulted in with three concentric rings of 
large stones, the innermost having an interior diameter of nearly 
14 feet. The hewn stones are about 5-^ feet long, and above 3 
feet high ; they are keyed together without cement. Tlie material 

* The exact position of Collatia is unknown : some place it on the right bank of the 
Anio, others on the left. 

•j- The legend derives this name from egeo, because he had been left to Tarquin's 
care without an inheritance. 

X This affords a complete disproof of the exclusive derivation of Etruscan art from 


furnishes a proof of the great antiquity of the work : it is the 
" tufa litoide " of Brocchi, a volcanic stone found in various spots 
near Rome, but which was superseded in the buildings of the 
republican age by the finer peperino of Gabii and the Alban hills. 
The Cloaca Maxima itself only extended as far as the valley of 
the Forum. It was afterwards continued as far as the Suburra, 
and a system of sewers ramified through all Kome. Agrippa, in 
his celebrated sedileship, set the example to more recent adven- 
turers by navigating the sewers in a boat ; the fact is worth 
mentioning as a proof that the sewers of Rome must have been 
well ventilated. 

The efiiect of this great work was to make the valleys on the 
north and southwest of the Palatine for the first time firm dry 
land. In the former, the Forum was now enclosed by rows of 
shops along its northern and southern sides, and Tarquin built in 
it a temple of Saturn; in the latter the Great Circus {Circraa 
Maxhmis) was built, for the exhibition of the games which Tar- 
quin is said to have introduced from Etruria. The contests in 
chariot racing and boxing were carried on by hired Etruscans, 
the Romans looking on as spectators. The seats were divided 
into thii'ty sections, for the thii-ty curiae, and the senators and 
knights had their assigned places. Such was the contrast between 
the proud patrician reseiwe of the Latin race, and the free 
public life even of the most aristocratic Greeks. This was the 
beginning of the Great Roman Games {Ludi Magni Moma/ni^ 
or Circenses), which were celebrated annually in September, in 
honour of the three deities to whom the Capitol was built. The 
booty of Apiolse is said to have supplied the means for the con- 
struction of the Cu'cus Maximus ; and the other works of Tarquin 
display such a command of wealth, that they have been ascribed, 
without any adequate reason, to forced labom*. We may trace in 
them with greater certainty the fruits of Etruscan science ; and, 
though many of the works ascribed to Tarquinius Priscus ought 
doubtless to be divided among the kings of his d}Tiasty, there is 
no question but that he is rightly described as " the founder of 
the subsequent architectural splendom* of Rome." 

The city now appears as the seat of a powerful monarchy, and 
the worthy capitol of the surrounding country. A change so 
marked from its condition under Ancus Marcius seemed to 
Niebuhr to require the hypothesis, that the accession of the 
Etruscan dynasty was in reality a foreign conquest. We know 
very weU, as will soon be seen from a decisive example, that, had 

VOL. II. — 13 


sncli a conquest been effected, it would have been falsified in tbe 
Roman annals. But, in truth, the chasm which it is sought thus 
to bridge over, appears to be the mere creation of those annalists. 
Bj the arbitrary system which assigns only four kings to the 
period of nearly a century and a half, preceding the Etruscan 
dynasty, no adequate space was allowed for approaching to such 
a condition as that which we find under Tarquinius Priscus, 
It was therefore necessary to make the progress of the state 
seem less than it really was, at the death of Ancus Marcius; 
while its splendour under Tarquin is probably exaggerated by 
bringing into one reign nearly all the fruits of that development 
of commerce and wealth which was the natm'al result of a closer 
connection with Etruria. In short, this seems to be one of the 
cases in which the genius of Niebuhr, so acute in exposing the 
mythical inventions of the ancients, hurried him to the construc- 
tion of positive results, entirely destitute of the solid basis of 
historic testimony. 

It is not then necessary to imagine an Etruscan conquest of 
Home, in order to explain the simple fact, that the reign of Tarquin 
is an epoch of great development in the power and wealth of Eome. 
And this advance was also marked by a greater exhibition of regal 
pomp. For all that we read, the outward state of the earlier kings 
may have been no greater than that of the elective chief of a repub- 
lic, and in war the insignia of the fasces were the simple exhibition 
of the authority essential to the very existence of a rude military 
community. The introduction of these emblems, with the lictors 
who bore them, is indeed ascribed by Dionysius to Tarquin, but he 
tells us that others traced their use to the beginning of the monar- 
chy.* But all agree that Tarquin introduced from Etruria, and 
assumed by permission of the Senate, " a golden crown, an ivory 
chair, a sceptre topped with an eagle, a crimson robe studded with 
gold, and a variegated crimson cloak, such as the kings of the 
Lydians and the Persians wore, only not square like theirs, but 
semicircular : such garments the Pomans call togas.''^ f The toga 

* " In fact," as Mr. Newman observes, " it seems necessary to believe this, unless we 
regard Tarquin as in the strictest sense conqueror of Rome ; for, of all insignia, this must 
have been the most revolting, if suddenly introduced. Only on the supposition of its 
representing supreme military sway, could it be endured by free men. A barbarous em- 
blem, natural and in some sense necessary in a camp of promiscuous outlaws, was con- 
tinued and incorporated with the splendid garb of peace, when order and art had become 
victorious in society." — Regal Rome, p. 12Y. 

f Dionys. iii. 61. In this passage an Etruscan origin is positively ascribed only 
to the toga prcetexta, but the introduction of the garment itself from Etruria seems to 


witli the purple border {toga proetextd) was also worn by children 
with a golden ball about their neck (bulla). This dress is said to 
have been granted as a distinction to the son of Tarquin, who, at 
the age of fourteen, killed an enemy with his own hand in the 
Sabine war. One story makes these insignia of royalty a mark of 
submission from the twelve states of Etruria, whom Tarquin had 
conquered in battle ; but such a war is altogether doubtful. 

These signs of outward splendour, and of substantial power, 
seem to prove a tendency to the aggrandizement of the king, in 
reliance probably on the support of the plebeians. It has been 
conjectured that the alarmed jealousy of the patricians was the 
true cause of Tarquin's violent death. The common legend attrib- 
utes his murder to the sons of Ancus Marcius, who had acquiesced 
for thirty-six years in his possession of the throne. They employed 
two assassins, who appeared before the tribunal of the king, that 
he might decide a pretended quarrel ; and while his attention was 
occupied by one the other clove his head with an axe (b.c. 5Y8). 

The politic and courageous Tanaquil snatched from the Marcii 
the fruits of her husband's murder, and secured the crown for the 
greatest of the Eoman kings. Seevitjs Tullius is said to have 
been the son of one of the late king's clients, and of a noble Latin 
woman named Ocrisia, who had been brought as a captive from 
Corniculum, and was attached to the service of the queen. The 
name of Servius * points to his low origin ; but the portents that 
attended his birth in the palace were interpreted by Tanaquil as 
omens of his greatness ; and his quick intelligence attracted the 
notice of the king, who brought him up as if he were his own son. 
He was doubtless ennobled by Tarquin, probably among the lesser 
gentes ; and, having given proof of the highest ability, he was 
appointed "Warden of the City {prcefectus urbi). The traditions 
vary as to whether it was before or after the murder of Tarquin 
that Servius married his daughter. One form of the story is, that 
Servius shared all the political plans of Tarquin, who had already 

be implied, and it is the only dress that appears on the Etruscan monuments. On the 
other hand, that sacred form of wearing the toga, which was used by persons sacrificing, 
and by the consul or herald in declaring war — the ductus Gahinus — is connected with 
the Latin city of Gabii. The toga with purple bars {toga trabeaia) also is ascribed to 
the eariy kings of Rome : at all events, the dress became the peculiar national costume 
of the Romans, who are hence called the Geiis Togata. (For all particulars respecting 
it, see the article Toga, in Smith's Dvdvonary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 2d 

* From servus, a slave. Compare the well-known line, 

" Ante potestatem Tulli, atque ignobile regnum." 


designated liim as his successor, and that the sons of Ancus and 
the old patricians thereupon resolved on the king's death ; but this 
seems a mere invention to account for their having waited so long. 
The two sons of Tarquin, Lucius and Aruns, were of tender age ; 
and Tanaquil determined to secure the crown for Servius. 

The bleeding corpse of Tarquin had no sooner been carried to his 
chamber, than Tanaquil ordered the palace gates to be shut, and 
gave out that the king was only wounded : in a few days he would 
be healed : and meanwhile he had committed the government to 
Servius Tullius. Urged by Tanaquil, Servius came forth in the 
royal robe, preceded by the lictors, and received the applauses of 
the people. His first act was to condemn the murderers of the late 
Mng. The Marcii had fled ; and, as to the other supposed con- 
spirators, it is enough to remember the coward hesitation which 
besets a plot that is only partially successful. The position of 
Tullius was thus made sure, before he claimed the crown ; but, to 
exclude the possibility of an adverse nomination by the Senate, 
he dispensed with the formalities of the Interrex, and oflFered him- 
self at once to the Curiae for election ; or, as some say, for the 
mere confirmation of his actual power, by the conferring of the 
imperium. The exact nature of the proceedings is a matter of 
conjecture ; but if we are dealing in any sense with an historical 
fact, we camiot be far wrong in assuming that the Latin party,' 
roused by the danger which they regarded as their own, would 
support Servius Tullius, and that the large portion of the old tribes 
who were disgusted at the crime, or at its failure, would be willing 
to connive at some irregularity in the procedure by which order 
was restored to the commonwealth. Livy and Cicero speak of an 
" opportune war " with the Etruscans, in which the new king's 
success confirmed his power at home ; but it would seem that the 
disaffection of the patricians forced him to found his power on a 
new basis, of which the plebeians formed an integral part. 

But, whatever the causes which led to the revolution, and what- 
ever degree of credibility belongs to the personal history of Servius 
Tullius, the great fact in this period of Roman history is the re- 
modelling of the constitution, which is associated with his name. 
Whether devised by a king and carried out by his authority, or 
whether it was a timely concession made by the ruling body to 
the irresistible power of the plebeian order, it is one of the most 
remarkable measures ever devised for the reconciliation of con- 
flicting interests in a commonwealth. No attempt was made 
to abolish the old patrician constitution; but a new one was 


planted by its side, like the vigorous parasite which gradually 
stifles in its embrace the old tree whose form may still be traced 
beneath it. The Senate, the Tribes, the Curiae, the Gentes, the 
centuries of Equites, the Pontiffs, Augurs, and other colleges, 
were all left untouched ; but a new body politic was framed, with 
new divisions, new powers, and new names, in which patricians 
and plebeians were included, their distinction being merged in a 
new classification. 

Tliere were two distinct features in the constitution of Servius 
Tullius ; the one, a fresh social and territorial division of the state ; 
the other, the creation of a new popular assembly, to form the basis 
of the government. The first was a change somewhat analogous to 
the subdivision of the French territory into departments, in lieu of 
the ancient provinces. The whole Roman territory and population 
was divided into thirty tribes ; * of which four were within the city 
and twenty-six in the country districts. The city tribes were 
named according to the regions they occupied, Suhurrana, Pala- 
tine^ Esquilina, and Collinu ; f the country tribes, though strictly 
local, bore the names of persons and heroes. Each tribe had a 
stronghold upon a hill (jpagus) as a refuge for the peasantry and 
cattle in war, placed under the protection of a local deity ; and the 
common festival of these divinities was the Paganalia. At the head 
of every tribe was a magistrate, called Tribumis, the name already 
borne by the heads of the old tribes. The functions of the tribes, like 
their organization, were at first entirely local. The direct tax for 
war expenses was levied according to the tribes, whence its name 
{tributum) ; and each tribe contributed its contingent to the army. 
It seems probable that the tribes managed their own internal 
affairs, such as the maintenance of roads, w^ells, and so forth ; and 
the meetings held for these purposes would naturally discuss ques- 
tions of wider interest. It has been a matter of great debate, 
whether the tribes were composed solely of plebeians, or of all the 

* Apart from any political reason for keeping the old name in this new sense, it 
should be remembered that the word is really a general term, capable of being applied 
to any specific division. See p. 159, note. The conquest of Rome by Porsenna cut 
off one-third of her territory, that is, ten of the country tribes. The subsequent acces- 
sions of territory in Italy raised the number to thirty-five. 

f This quadruple division of the city is traceable to the amalgamation of the city on 
the Quirinal (as a fourth region) with the three regions of the old city, the Suburran, 
the Palatine, and the Suburban (Esquiline). The Saburran contained the street of that 
name, with the Carinas and the Caelian Mount ; the Palatine and Esquiline, the mounts 
Bo named, the former including the Velia ; the Colline, the " hills " of the Quirinal and 


iiihabitants of each district, including the patricians. The latter 

would seem to be the natural inference from their local organizar 
tion ; but we have high authorities for the former view. It is 
certain that the patricians had votes in the tribes after the epoch 
of the decemviral legislation ; but this did not prevent their 
becoming more and more the great organ of the power of the 
plebeians ; till at length the " resolutions of the plebs " {jple- 
hiscita) passed in the general meetings of the tribes {Comitia 
Trihuta), which were held in the Forum on the market days, 
were declared to be binding on the whole state (b.c. 449). N'or 
was this all : for the assembly of the tribes gradually absorbed 
into itself the other popular assembly {Comitia Centuriata)^ of 
which we have now to speak, the latter having previously super- 
seded the legislative power of the old assembly of the Curiae 
{Comitia Curiata). But 'this great development of their power, 
which was evidently contemplated by their original founder, 
belongs to a later period of Eoman history.* 

The immediate admission of the plebeians into the governing 
body of the state was, however, effected by a different organiza- 
tion, military in its form, and based on the foundation of real 
property. Its principle was this : that all free citizens possessed 
of property, whether patricians or plebeians, should be called on 
to defend their stake in the commonwealth ; and that the place 
assigned to them in the army, and their political weight in the 
state, should alike be governed by the amount of their wealth. 
For this purpose, all the citizens were first separated into two 
great divisions, the first containing all who had the means of 
independent subsistence, the "wealthy" {looujpletes), or "settled 
on the soil " {assidui) ; while all the rest were regarded merely 
as persons contributing to the population of the state {proletarii), 
and "reckoned by the head" {cajyite censi). The latter, though 
free citizens, had no recognized position either in peace or war. 
The former were the Exercitus, or body of armed citizens, and their 
meetings were held in the Cam^s Martins, outside the walls ; 
for arms were not suffered to be borne within the city. In the 
early age, at which Rome had stiU enemies at her gates, a standard 
was hoisted on the summit of the Janiculan Mount while the 
people were thus assembled, and was lowered on the approach of 
danger. At this signal, all business was broken off; and the 

* The Comitia Tribuia also elected the inferior magistrates, and they had a limited 
judicial power, not extending beyond the infliction of fines. A full account of their con- 
Btitution and history will he found in Smith's Dictionary of AniiquUies. 


people, armed as they were, turned to repel the enemy, The 
custom was preserved, long after Rome was separated from her 
nearest enemies by distant seas and mountains ; and in the last 
age of the Republic, it was used in party contests to serve the 
same purpose as a modern " count-out." 

This "Army" was divided into five "levies" or "classes; "* 
and the classes into " centuries," a term which soon ceased to 
bear its literal meaning of 100 men. Some authorities make 
these classes to consist wholly of the infantry {^eclites), placing 
the cavalry (equites) as a separate class above the first ; others 
include them in the first class. At all events, they took prece- 
dence of all the rest ; and each knight received a horse, or the 
money to purchase one, from the state, as well as the annual cost 
of keeping it, which was defrayed by the orphans and unmamed 
women. " In a military state," says Niebuhr, " it could not be 
esteemed unjust, that the women and children should contribute 
largely to those who fought in behalf of them and of the common- 
wealth." There were eighteen centuries of knights ; of which six 
were those of the ancient tribes, doubled, as we have seen, by 
Tarquinius Priscus, and twelve were added irom the plebeians. 
The five classes of the infantry included all the rest of the privi- 
leged citizens, capable of bearing arms. Those of each class were 
divided into the Seniores, the men between forty-five and sixty 
years of age ; and the Juniores, from seventeen to forty-five. The 
latter were within the ordinary age of military service : but the 
Seniors were liable to be called out on emergencies ; those above 
sixty were superannuated, and their exemption from military 
service involved the loss of their right to vote in the Assembly. 
Due weight was given to age by equalizing the number of centu- 
ries, though the number of the Juniors of course exceeded the 
number of the Seniors. Especially must the large number of 
centuries in the fii'st class, combined with the small number of 
persons who came up to the required standard of wealth, have 
secured the Seniors of this class a preponderating voice in 
proportion to their numbers. The qualification for each class is 
stated, according to the later writers, who have preserved all the 
information we possess, by a pecuniary standard ; but this is, 
without doubt, merely an estimation of the value of the land by 
which they were originally assessed. "We may safely assume that 
the qualification of the first class, — who manifestly rank so far 
above the rest, both in the number of their centuries and the 

* Classes, from the old verb calare, to caU out. 



[Chap. XX. 

completeness of their equipment, — was the possession of a certain 
measure of land, which was regarded as a complete estate or 
form.* The census of the second class was three-fourths of this 
quantity ; of the third class, one half; of the fourth class, one 
quarter ; and of the fifth <jlass, one eighth. This estimate applied 
only to real pro]3erty, and it would seem, at first, to land alone ; 
no account being taken of slaves, cattle, furniture, precious metals, 
and other valuables. The distribution of the centuries among the 
classes, with their property qualifications, and the arms they bore, 
will be seen from the annexed table.f The position of every citizen 

* Dr. Mommsen applies to this unit the Teutonic name of hide (German hufe), that is, 
as much as can be properly tilled with one plough (the ploughrgate of the Scotch). 
Its absolute magnitude is very uncertain ; but it seems to have been not less than 20 
jugera, or about 12 J- acres. 

f The subjoined table, from Liddell's Elstory of Home, -will make it easy to perceive 
these arrangements at a glance, as they are given by Livy. 


Census, or Eateable 
Property in Land. 


Defensive. Offensive. 

First Class 

Second Class -j 
Third Class | 

Equites .... 

All having 100,000 I 
ases and upwards | 


6 Patrician +12 
40 Seniore8+40 


= 181 


Class -j 

Fifth Class - 

75,000 ases and up- ) 
wards .... J 

50,000 ases and up- ) 
wards .... ( 

25,000 ases and up- } 
wards . . . . j 

11,000 ases and up- 
wards (more pro- 
bably 12,500, as 
Dionysius says) 

Trumpeters . . . 

Capite Censi, or 
Proletarii . . 

10 8enioreB+10 
10 Seniores+lO 
10 Seniores+lO 

Juniores : 
Juniores : 

15 Seniores+ 15 Juniores: 


f Helmet, 
■< shield, 
I greaves. 

J Helmet, 
I shield. 

Helmet (?) 



I spear. 

( Sword 
< and 
( spear. 
( Sword 
-< and 
I spear. 
( Spear 
-< and 
I javelin. 



The whole number of centuries, therefore, was 194 ; and in the first class alone there 
are more than half. 

The centuries of comicines, tubicines, &c., were called, accensi, because they were 
added to the list of censi. 

The single century of proletarii were called capite censi, because they were coimted 
by the head, and not rated by their property. Later, however, the proletarii and capite 
censi were distinguished, the former being those who possessed appreciable property of 
less amount than 11,000 ases. 

Dionysius places the 2 centuries of fahri in the second class ; and the 2 (not 3) of 
musicians in the fourth. His total is 193 centuries, which is probably the more 


in the classes and centuries was determined by a register (census) of 
all the landed property they possessed, to secure the accuracy of 
which it was enacted that all transfers of land not made in public 
before witnesses should be null and void. The register, and the levy- 
roll founded upon it, were made up every fourth year, at first by 
the king, afterwards by the consuls, and finally by the two great 
officers of state called censors, who added to the office of registrars 
a supervision of the morals of the citizens, enforced by the power 
of degrading the unworthy, and also the administration of the 
finances of the state. The census formed the basis of the tax 
{tributicm) levied for the military expenses of the state, as well as 
for the system of voting in the Assembly. Each century had one 
vote ; and such was the preponderance assigned to wealth, and to 
the nobility of the old tribes, that the first class, inclusive of the 
knights, had an absolute majority of all the votes — namely, 100 
out of 193. It was from this system of voting by centuries, that 
the assembly derived its name of Comitia Centueiata. But 
before describing its political action, it should be viewed in its 
primary character, as the armed levy of the state. 

The name Legion, which originally signified the whole of this 
levy, was still retained for each of its chief constituent parts. It origi- 
nally consisted, as we have seen, of 3000 infantry and 300 cavalry ; 
at least this was the normal standard, to which the actual numbers 
were as nearly as possible assimilated.* The theory which traces 
in the four city tribes of the new constitution the absorption of 
the " Hill City " as a fourth element in the state, gives a natural 
explanation of the raising of the infantry to 4000, a number which 
becomes a little larger when adapted to the organization of the 
centuries. If we assume that the Century had originally its literal 
signification of 100 men, we shall find that the fourth part, or 
twenty-five men from every century, would compose a legion of 
4250 men.f Four such legions, increased by the 1800 cavalry, 

correct, as an even number, besides being unlucky, might have prevented an absolute 

majority of votes. 

* This statement is, of course, based on the traditional view of the early history ; how 

far it represents an actual fact we have no means of determining. 
f The following are the items : 

First Class 80 centuries furnished to each legion 2000 men. 

Second Class 20 " " 500 " 

Third Class 20 " " 500 " 

Fourth Class 20 " " 500 " 

Fifth Class 30 " " '750 « 

Total effective infantry of the legion . 4250 " 


and by tlie remaining centmies of engineers {fahri)^ and musi- 
cians, with snpemnmeraries intended to fill up the ranks, make 
the whole force close upon 20,000 men. Two legions usually did 
garrison duty at home, and two went out on active service. 

The legion closely resembled the Greek phalanx, both in its 
formation and its equipments. The 3000 men furnished by the 
first three classes, armed with the long spear and straight two- 
edged sword, and covered with shield and helmet, were drawn up 
six deep, with a front of 500. The first four ranks were composed 
of the 2000 soldiers of the fii^t class, who wore body-armour 
besides ; the two hinder ranks of the second and third classes ; 
and the light-armed men (velites) of the fourth and fifth classes 
either formed two additional ranks in the rear, or skirmished on 
the fianks. Here also was the place of the cavalry, of whom only 
300 were attached to each legion in the ^Id, leaving 600 of the 
1800 as a reserve. Such was the constitution of the legion under 
the later kings, and for about the first 150 years of the Republic. 
About the time of the great Latin War (b.c. 310) the phalanx was 
abandoned for that more open order of fighting, which has become 
inseparably connected with the victorious career of the Roman 

It was to this army, assembled in its military array in the 
Campus Martins, that the constitution ascribed to Servius Tullius 
committed all the highest elective, legislative, and judicial func- 
tions of the state ; but as we do not find the Comitia Cerduriata 
in full action tiQ the time of the republic, the description of its 
functions necessarily refers to that period. It is useless to specu- 
late whether or no the election of the king was reserved for the 
Comitia Ouriata ; since the traditional history gives us only one 
king after Servius Tullius ; — a despot, who usurped the crown, 
deprived the Assembly of the Centuries of all political power, and 
paid no respect to that of the Curis. But, under the Republic, 
the centuries elected all the higher magistrates — consuls, praetors, 
military tribunes with consular power, censors, and decemvirs, 
Their legislative power f was at first confined to the passing 

Dr. Mommsen makes the total 4200, or 42 centuries exactly, taking only 7 centuries 
from the 5th class, instead of 7^. At the period of the Latin war, in B.C. 340, the data 
Bupphed by liry ^ve 4725 men for the l^on, though his own total is 5000, besides 300 

* See the full account of their later order in Smith's Dictionary of Ardiquiiies. 

f It should be remembered that the word lex (law) means specially an enactment of 
the Comitia C^enturiata, in contradistinction to the Senatus-coiisidtum, or resolution of the 
smate, or the Fleliscvtiwi, or vote of the Comitia Tributa. A law proposed for enact- 


or rejecting the resolutions sent down from the Senate {senatus- 
consulta), and proposed to them by the presiding magistrate.* 
The earliest law which is recorded as having passed the Comitia 
Centuriata, was the Lex Yaleria de Provocatione, in the third 
year of the Eepublic (b.c. 508). It was proposed by the consul, 
P. Yalerius Poplicola, who had been suspected of affecting royal 
power, to give every citizen an appeal against magistrates, in 
Rome and for a mile beyond. The decision upon making war, on 
the resolution of the Senate, belonged to the Comitia Centuriata ; 
but, in the earliest age of the Republic at least, the Senate alone 
had the power of making peace. Lastly, the Comitia Centm-iata 
formed the supreme com-t of appeal in all questions affecting the 
life of a Roman citizen. The condemnation of Spm*ius Cassius 
(b.c. 485) is sometimes cited as the first exercise of this right : 
but others hold that the patricians assumed the power of 
putting Cassius to death by their own votes in the Comitia 

The great power of the Comitia Centuriata was originally 
limited, on the one hand, by the initiative belonging to the 
Senate, and on the other, by the necessity of submitting their 
acts for the sanction of the Curise. But both these restrictions 
were afterwards thrown off, or relaxed. In relation to the choice 
of magistrates, the formal proposal by the presiding magistrate was 
not abolished, but the people compelled him to propose any can- 
didate who came forward, without the nomination of the Senate. 
This step was taken in about thirty years from the beginning of 
the Republic. For legislation, the previous senatus-consultum was 
still necessary ; and, after this had been made public for seven- 
teen days, the rogatio was moved in the Comitia either by the 
consul or the senator who had proposed it. In later times, this 
previous resolution of the Senate conveyed, by a curiously indirect 
process, the confirmation of the Curiae. This confirmation had 
gradually become a mere form, when the Publilian law enacted 
that the patricians should give their previous assent to all the 
laws that might be proposed in the Comitia Centuriata (b.c. 339). 
When even the empty formality of the meeting of the Curiae was 
abolished, the Senate succeeded them as representing the patrician 

ment was called a rocfaiio, because the people were asked their pleasure respecting its 
passing. The terms rogatio and lex correspond to our bill and act (in parliament) ; and, 
like them, they are occasionally confoimded. 

* The acts of the Comitia Centuriata were distinguished by the gentile name of their 
movers, with the subject added, as Lex Pompeia de Imperio Ccesari prorogando. 


body, and thus the initiative of the former body stood for and 
included the previous consent of the latter. 'We shall hereafter 
see ho"^ the powers of the Comitia Centuriata, which represented 
the whole body of the citizens, were absorbed by the more plebeian 
assembly of the Comitia Tributa. 

Such is the constitution traditionally ascribed to Servius Tul- 
lius, as the fruit partly of his spontaneous sense of justice to the 
plebeians, and partly of the necessity which threw him on their 
support, against the jealousy of the old tribes. By whom, at 
what time, and from what causes, the change was really made, are 
questions which we have no certain evidence to decide. The pre- 
ponderating influence assigned to wealth and rank forbids our re- 
garding it as a democratic revolution. The form of the levy, 
based as it is on the four city tribes, implies that the Servian wall 
had been already built. The larger qualifications of the higher 
classes, and the fact (at least if a cerdury meant originally 100 
men) that there were so many as 8000 citizens possessed of the 
property of the highest class, implies a great extension of the 
Koman territory, so as to embrace probably both the lands of 
Alba, and those in the fork between the Tiber and the Anio. This 
intricate but most interesting question may be dismissed with 
the statement of the views of iMommsen : — " Upon the whole it 
is plain that this Servian constitution did not originate in a con- 
flict between the orders ; on the contrary, it bears the stamp of a 
reforming legislator, like the constitutions of Lycurgus, Solon, 
and Zaleucus ; and it has evidently been produced under Greek 
influence. Particular analogies may be deceptive, such as the 
coincidence, already noticed by the ancients, that in Corinth also 
widows and oi^phans were charged with the provision of the horses 
for the cavalry ; but the adoption of the armour and arrangements 
of the Greek hoplite system was certainly no accidental coinci- 
dence. Xow if we consider the fact, that it was in the second 
century of the city that the Greek states in Lower Italy advanced 
from the pure clan-constitution to a modified one, which placed the 
preponderance in the hands of the land-holders, we shall recognize 
in that movement the impulse which called forth in Eome the 
Servian reform, a change of constitution resting in the main on 
the same fimdamental idea, and only directed into a somewhat 
different course by the strictly monarchical fonn of the Roman 
state." * The reconciliation of the monarchical form of government 

* " The analogy also between the so-called Servian constitution and the treatment 
of the Attic meUed (resident foreigners) deserves to be particularly noticed. Athens, 


with institutions wliicli only took effect under the republic was 
evidently felt as a difficulty by the Eoman wi-iters, who try to 
antedate the republican form of executive government by ascribing 
to Servius an intention of abdicating the throne in order to 
make way for two magistrates, to be elected by the Comitia 

Besides this constitution, the legend ascribes to Servius Tullius 
many other benefits to Rome, and in particular to the plebeians. 
He is said to have discharged from his private resources the debts 
by which they were weighed down ; and to have deprived the 
creditor of the power of reducing his debtor to slavery ; — a tradi- 
tion which was perhaps invented by the plebeians when patrician 
tyranny led them to look back with fond regret to the age of the 
" commons' king." He is also said to have divided among the 
plebeians the lands gained in his Etruscan wars ; and to have 
appointed judges for their private causes, reserving only the pubhc 
causes for his own decision. To Servius is ascribed the completion 
of the stone wall, with which Tai'quin had begun to surround the 
whole circuit of the seven hills, and which remained the defence 
of the city down to the age of the emperor Aurelian. He advanced 
the sacred limit of the Pomoerimn, so as to include the city on the 
Quirinal and the Yiminal ; and raised an immense earthen ram- 
part along the crest from which these two hills and the EsquiKne 
slope away towards the Campagna on the north-east.* The 
EsquiKne, which had formerly been only a suburb, was chosen for 
his own residence ; and he encouraged the people to build upon it ; 
while he fixed the abode of the patricians in the valley between 
the Esquiline and the Cselian, which was called the Patrician 
Street {Patricius Vicus). 

Finally, to Servius is ascribed the great achievement, partly by 
policy and partly by force of arms, of forming an alliance with 
the states of Latium, and making Rome the recognized head of 

like Rome, opened her gates at a comparativdy early period to meiceci, and afterwards 
summoned them also to share the burthens of the state. We cannot suppose that any 
direct connection existed in this instance between Athens and Rome ; but the coinci- 
dence serves all the more distinctly to shew how the same causes — ^urban centralization 
and urban development — everywhere and of necessity produced similar effects."' — 
(Mommsen, History of Home, vol. L pp. 102, 3.) The historian might have added the 
coincidence, that the legislation of Solon took place less than twenty years before the re- 
puted date of Servius TuUius. 

* The Agger Servii Tullii. See the Plan of Ancient Rome : it will be observed 
that there is a break in the wall of Servius along the west side of the Capitoline Mount, 
where the precipitous rock was supposed to form a sufficient defence. 


tlie Latin confederacy. As president of the League, he built a 
temple of Diana on the Arentine, for a sanctuary common to the 
Romans and the Latins. The legend says that the Sabines not 
only claimed a common share in the sacrifices offered here, but 
aimed to secure the supremacy over Kome which the soothsayers 
had promised to the nation which should first sacrifice in this 
temple. A Sabine brought a cow of surpassing beauty to oflfer on 
the Aventine; but the Roman priest reproved him for having 
neo-lected the proper ablutions. The Sabine departed to wash 
himself in the Tiber, leaving the cow at the altar ; and while he 
was absent the cunning Roman completed the sacrifice. 

Viewing the early history of Rome in its legendary aspect, 
Servius Tullius stands forth as the hero of the plebeian order ; 
and the glories of his reign are crowned by a sort of mar- 
tyrdom, in which he paid the price of his favours to the people 
with his blood. The patricians, whose exclusive possession of 
power he had destroyed by his new constitution, and who had a 
pretext for calling him an usurper, since he had not been 
reo-ularly elected by the Curiae, found an instrument of their 
revenge in the royal family itself. It has been said that Tar- 
quinius Priscus left behind him two sons of tender age : Servius 
Tullius had two daughters ; and to unite the interests of both 
families, he gave them in marriage to the sons of Tarquin. 'Now 
in each pair of brother and sisters there was a strange contrast of 
character. Lucius, the eldest son of Tarquinius Priscus, was violent 
and overbearing ; and so was the younger daughter of Servius Tul- 
lius ; while the younger brother, Aruns, resembled the elder sister 
in gentle goodness. In the hope of overpowering evil with good, 
Tullius mated the elder brother to the elder sister, and likewise the 
two younger. But nature was too strong for policy. Lucius mur- 
dered his wife, and the younger TulHa her husband ; and the double 
crime was consummated by an incestuous marriage. The unnatural 
Tullia inflamed her husband's ambition to recover his father's 
throne. The newer patricians, of the tribe of the Luceres, are said 
to have been the most discontented with the rule of Tullius, and it 
was in this tribe that the Tarquinian Gens had been enrolled. 
Whether the details related be legendary or not, we find their 
spirit true to history, when we are informed that these later nobles 
were the most eager champions of their order, and that their young 
men formed clubs, to countenance each other in lawless violence. 
Tarquin j oined these clubs, and relied on their support. He waited 
for the harvest-time, when the plebeians, who were attached to 


Servius, were abroad in the fields ; and entering the Fonim with 
an armed band of the lawless youths, he seated himself on the 
king's throne in front of the senate-house, and ordered the Senate 
to be summoned in the name of King Tarquinius. On hearing the 
news, TuUius hastened to the Forum, and asked Lucius how he 
dared to occupy the king's seat while he was still alive. Lucius 
replied that it was his father's throne, and that he had more right 
to it than TuUius. Then, seizing the old man by the middle, he 
hurled him down the steps of the senate-house, and went in to 
preside over the Senate. TuUius had risen from the ground, and 
was making his way homeward to the EsquiUne, when he was 
overtaken and despatched by assassins sent after him by Tar- 
quin. Meanwhile TulUa had mounted her chariot and driven 
to the Forum, where, sending for her husband out of the senate- 
house, she saluted him as king. He bade her return home out of 
the tumult. Her road was through the valley where her father's 
body lay weltering in his blood. The charioteer stopped and 
pointed to the corpse ; but she ordered him to drive on, and the 
wheels, dashing through the pool of gore, besprinkled the chariot 
and the garments of the parricide with a baptism of blood. The 
street was ever after called " The Wicked Street" {vicus scderatus). 
Tarquin consummated the crime by refusing burial to the body of 
Servius. It was said that afterwards, when TuUia entered the 
temple of Fortune, where her father's statue was erected, the image 
covered its eyes ; and a veil throwm over its head perpetuated the 
memory of the supernatural expression of abhorrence. Others 
said that Tarquin had the statue veiled, to hide the loved features 
from the memory of the people. 

The usurper and parricide exercised his power in the same spirit 
in which he had seized it, and which earned for him the name of 
Taequlnius Superbus. Claiming the throne as an inheritance 
from his father, he showed from the first his design of setting up 
an hereditary despotism by dispensing even with the form of an 
election. The patricians, who had aided his usupation, soon 
learned that they were not to share his power. While he abrogated 
the popular laws of Servius TulUus, and retained the Comitia 
Centuriata as the means of levying the army, he paid no respect to 
the assembly of the Curias. With the Senate he pursued the policy 
by which an aristocratic monarchy is converted into a despotism. 
False accusations brought down sentences of death and banish- 
ment, wdth fines and confiscations. The thinned ranks of the 
Senate were left unfilled ; and their forfeited property, added to the 


royal demesnes and treasures, purcliased for him new adherents 
and the protection of a trusty body-guard. 

And here we cannot fail to notice the fact, that some of the 
chief states of Greece were at this very time passing through the 
same phase of their poKtical progress. The tyranny of Poly crates 
at Samos, for example, was established just two years later than 
the usurpation of Tarquinius Superbus (b.c. 532). The coinci- 
dence is still more striking in the case of Athens, where Hippias 
and Hipparchus succeeded to the power of Pisistratus seven years 
after Tarquin's accession (b.c. 527), and Hippias was expelled in 
the very same year in wliich Tarquin was driven from Pome 
(b.c. 510). Like the Grecian despots, Tarquin sought at once to 
gratify his own splendid tastes, and to dazzle and delight his 
subjects, by adorning the city with magnificent works, a device 
which scarcely ever fails to captivate a people till stern necessity 
compels them to count its cost. At Pome, however, the lower 
orders were made to feel the bm'then at once, by being forced to 
work on Tarquin's public buildings without hire. 

Tarquin's foreign policy tended at once to strengthen his 
government by alliances with the neighbouring states, and to 
augment the territory and power of Pome. He made treaties and 
wars without consulting the senate or the people. His hereditary 
connection with Tarquinii formed the basis of a close league with 
the southern cities of Etruria. He drew closer the ties which 
Servius Tullius had formed with the Latins, by giving his daughter 
in marriage to the most powerful of their chiefs, Octavius Mami- 
lius of Tusculum. By war or by intrigues he established the 
supremacy of Pome over all Latium. One man alone dared to 
oppose him, Turnus Herdonius of Aricia ; and a false accusation 
preferred by Tarquin obtained his judicial murder by the Latin 
chiefs themselves. As head of the Latin League of forty-seven 
cities, Tarquin built a new Temple to Jupiter Latiaris on the 
Alban Mount, and, at the general meeting, he ofiered the common 
victim, the flesh of which was divided among the States. 

The city of Gabii alone refused to acknowledge the supremacy 
of Tarquin. Its capture forms the subject of one of those legends 
in which the republican poets delighted to depict in strong colours 
the tyrannies that justified their revolt, and so to perpetuate their 
hatred of the banished dynasty. The most hateful hero of these 
legends is Sextus, the king's youngest son. He presented him- 
self before Gabii in the guise of a fugitive from his father's 
tyranny, and was received by the Gabines as their leader. Some 

B.C. 534— 510.] REIGIT OF TAPwQmmUS SUPERBUS. 209 

petty victories, wliicli Ids father permitted him to win, secm-ed his 
influence in the town ; and he sent to Rome for ftu'ther instruc- 
tions. The messenger found Tarquin in his garden. "Without 
sapng a word, the king sauntered along, knocking off the heads 
of the tallest poppies. Tired of waiting his leisure, the messenger 
returned to Sextus, who at once saw the meaning of the parable, 
and put it into practice by cutting off the chief men of Gabii by 
false accusations.* The city was then delivered up to Tarquin. 
As to the really historical circumstances of its sm'render we only 
know that the treaty made on the occasion was preserved in after 
ages in the temple in the god of oaths, Deus Fidius or Sancus. It 
was wi'itten on the hide of the bull sacrificed at its ratification, 
which was strained upon a wooden shield. 

At the head of the united Latin forces, Tarquin made war 
upon the Yolsci, and took the rich city of Suessa Pomoetia. This 
victory was followed by a decisive defeat of the Sabines, who had 
invaded the Roman territory. He afterwards made a peace with 
the ^qui, an Oscan people on the upper Anio. Tarquin returned 
to Rome, enriched with the spoils of Suessa Pomoetia, which he 
devoted to the completion of the Capitol,t under the superin- 
tendence of Etruscan builders, and by the forced labour of the 
people. By the same means he completed the Circus Maximus 
and the great sewers ; and when the workmen began to murmur 
at their burthens, he drafted off some of them to the two colonies 
which he founded on the borders of the Yolsci and ^qui, at Signia 
in the interior and on the Circeian promontoiy. These therefore 
may be regarded as the bounds to which Tarquin had extended 
the territory of Rome. Prominent as is the legendary character of 
these stories, they give a sufiicient general indication of the state 
of Rome in the last years of the monarchy : — the city adorned 
with splendid buildings, and enriched with the spoils of successful 
war ; the supremacy of Rome established over Latium, and her 
power acknowledged by the bordering tribes of the Apennines : — 
at the cost of the humiliation of her nobles and the grinding 
oppression of her people by a lawless despotism. The dynastic 
alliance with Etruria, and especially the close relations it involved 
with the maritime city of Caere, must have added to the com- 
mercial importance of Rome ; a proof of wliich is seen in the 
treaty with Carthage. Made as it was in the very first year of the 
republic, that treaty indicates the maritime consequence which 

* Herodotus tells a similar story of the means by which Babylon was betrayed to 
Darius Hystaspis. f See above, p. 192. 

TOL. II. — 14 



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all within the province of historical criticism, it would be quite 
consistent with all that we know of the Delphic oracle to suppose 
that Brutus, meditating his great work of liberation, purchased 
with his staff fall of gold a divine sanction, to be quoted at the 
proper time. 

The opportunity was ere long furnished by the outrageous inso- 
lence of the king's youngest son, the hero of Gabii, "false Sextus, 
who wrought the deed of shame." Tarquin was warring against 
Ardea, a city of the Rutuli, on the coast of Latium. The ai-my 
was encamped idly before the blockaded town. The sons of Tar- 
quin with their kinsmen, Brutus and Tarquinius CoUatinus — the 
son of that Egerius, to whom the first Tarquin had given the 
lordship of Collatia — were supping together in the tent of Sextus, 
when the conversation turned upon the merits of their wives. 
Each extolled his own, and CoUatinus especially was loud in 
praise of his Lucretia, a lady as discreet and virtuous as she was 
beautiful. To make good his boast, he proposed that they should 
take horse, and seafor themselves how the ladies were occupied. 
They rode first to Rome, and found the wives of the king's sons 
giving a splendid banquet to other noble women. Leaving the 
city, they reached Collatia late at night, and there was Lucretia, 
in the midst of her maidens, carding wool and spinning by the 
li2:ht of a lamp. All confessed that CoUatinus had been right ; 
but his triumph was bought dear, and the issue involved the fate 
of Rome. The charms of Lucretia had smitten Sextus Tarqui- 
nius with lawless love. He returned in a few days to Collatia 
and was received by Lucretia a% her husband's kinsman. Insens- 
ible alike to shame and truth, to the ties of kindred and hospi- 
tality, Sextus entered her chamber in the dead of the night, and 
told her that if she would not yield to him, he would slay her and 
one of her slaves, and tell her husband that he had taken them 
in adultery. His purpose was accomplished by threats and force, 
and he returned to the camp under cover of the night. 

In the mornmg Lucretia sent messengers in haste to summon 
CoUatinus from the camp, and her father, Spurius Lucretius, from 
Rome, where Tarquin had left him as "Warden of the City. CoUa- 
tinus came, attended by L. Junius Brutus ; Lucretius, by Publius 
Valerius, the same who was afterwards surnamed Poplicola, from his 
ardour in the cause of the people. In the presence of these witnesses, 
Lucretia, whom they found sitting upon her bed bathed in tears, 
denounced her ravisher, and required from all present an oath that 
they would avenge the wrong. Then declaring that, though inno- 


cent herself, she could not survive her shame, she seized a knife 
that she had hidden beneath her pillow, and plunged it in her 
heart. "Wliile her husband and her father could only utter cries 
of horror, Brutus, throwing off his assumed stupidity, drew the 
knife from the wound, and holding it aloft, swore by the blood 
of Lucretia that he would pursue to the uttermost, with fire and 
sword, both Tarquin and his accursed house, and that no man 
should ever after be king in Rome to repeat such crimes. Then 
he passed the knife to CoUatinus, and then to Lucretius and 
Valerius, and bound them by the same oath. The corpse of 
Lucretia was carried forth into the market place, and Brutus, 
holding up the bloody knife before the people, who flocked to- 
gether at the strange sight, exclaimed, "Behold the deeds of the 
wicked house of Tarquin." The youth of Collatia flew to arms, 
and while one body guarded the gates, lest news of the rising 
should reach Tarquin's camp, the rest followed Brutus and his 
companions to Rome. The sight of the armed band, with their 
distinguished leaders, spread an alarm through the city, and the 
cause of their coming was soon known. In virtue of his oflice as 
Tribune of the Celeres,* Brutus summoned the people to the 
Forum, and harangued them, not only on the T\Tongs of Lucretia, 
and the misery of her husband and her father, but on all the 
misdeeds and tyranny of Tarquin's reign. The Curiae, for it was 
in that form that the people were convened, passed a solemn vote 
depriving Tarquin of the crown, which he had seized at first with- 
out their consent, and banishing him and all his family for ever. 
Tullia fled from her palace amidst the tumult, pursued by the 
curses of the people. The city was left in the charge of its pre- 
fect, Spurius Lucretius, while Brutus went at the head of the 
youth to gain over the army before Ardea. 

Meanwhile the news of the insurrection at Rome had reached 
the camp, and Tarquin had started for the city at the head of a 
chosen band. Brutus turned aside from the main road, and 
reached the army without encountering the king. His harangue 
was responded to in the same spirit as in the city. The sons of 
Tarquin were driven out ; a truce was made with the Ardeans ; 
and the army marched to Rome, where the gates had already been 

* The Tribunus Celerum, or captain of the knights, was the officer who called to- 
gether the Curise, in the absence of the king. The entrusting such an office to a reputed 
idiot is but one of the many inconsistencies of the legend. Some suppose that Brutiis 
originally signified no more than " grave " or " stern," like the later name Severus, and 
that the story of his assumed idiocy arose from the later sense of the word. Such inven- 
tions based on etymology are by no means infrequent. 


sliut against the deposed king. Tarquin fled to Caere in Etruria, 
where the tomb of the family is still to be seen. There he was 
joined by his sons Titus and Aruns. Sextus fled to Gabii, where 
he was murdered in requital of his former treachery.* 

Thus was Tarquinius Superbus driven out from Rome, with all 
his family, in the twenty-fifth year of his reign, just at the close 
of the Roman year (b.c. 510 — 9).f The expulsion of the last king 
was commemorated by the festival called Regifugium or Fugalia, 
which was celebrated on the 24:th of February in every year. 

"We have felt bound to relate those poetical legends which are 
inseparably associated with this most picturesque period of Roman 
history. The labours of the historians of Rome have relieved us 
from the necessity of exposing the absurdities of dry fact which 
lurk beneath scenes so true to nature. It is superfluous to demon- 
strate once more the impossibility of a chronology which assigns 
245 years to seven elective kings, three of whom perished by a 
violent death, and the last was prematurely expelled. ISTor is it 
possible, as some have thought, to draw any line, however general, 
between the periods of fact and fable, whether between Numa and 
Tullus, or between Ancus and the elder Tarquin. If the reigns of 
the earlier kings are the least trustworthy, from the absence of 
historic records and the manifestly unhistoric complexion of their 
annals, and if the history of the Tarquins seems more trustworthy 
— as belonging to an age of advanced civilization and commerce, an 
age when written documents certainly existed, and which has 
handed down its monuments of art and its elaborate political 
constitution — -yet it is at the close of this very age that the history 
assumes a more poetical complexion than ever, and it preserves 
that complexion during the establishment of the republic. The 
poetic fervour, in which the sense of new-born freedom or the 
regret for its subsequent loss found vent, though not of itself 
inconsistent with a substratum of true facts, effectually prevents 
our discerning those facts through the haze of imagination that is 
cast around them. There is as great a variety in the legendary 
stories which different writers tell of this period as in the age of 
Romulus and Numa ; and the chronology, in becoming the more 

* This is the account of Livy, who generally preserves the more poetical form of the 
several legends. Dionysius represents Sextus as killed at the battle of the lake Re^us, 
and this view is followed in Macaulay's celebrated lay. 

f According to our present calendar, the expulsion of the Tarquins was on Feb. 24, 
B.C. 509 ; but, for the sake of the round number and of the agreement with the Roman 
year, we take the liberty of reckoning on the year 510 to its Roman end, which agrees 
also with our own " old style." 


definite, only becomes the more impossible. This was indeed 
perceived by Dionysius of Halicarnassus ; but, instead of admit- 
ting the conclusion, he makes arbitrary amendments in the data.* 

We cannot make out a true and consistent liistory by eliminating 
the improbabilities of these legends, or by selecting from the inter- 
pretations of the ancients that which may seem to us the most 
reasonable. But, by a careful comparison of language, antiquities, 
institutions, traditions, and other real elements of fact, illustrated 
by light reflected on them by the legends, we can arrive at certain 
broad conclusions. The chief of these have been indicated as we 
have proceeded. They may be summed up in the steady growth 
of the city, till it became the head of Latium, on the one hand, 
and derived wealth and commercial unportance from its connection 
with Etruria on the other. A constitution, based on a patriarchal 
aristocracy, with an elective monarchy at its head, was modified 
by the introduction of new elements, chiefly from the conquered 
Latin states, till the necessity arose for a new military organization 
and a new distribution of political power among all classes of the 

But, as we have already seen in the states of Greece, the first 
confusion incident to the admission of the commons to a share of 
power, gave an opportunity for the estabhshment of despotism ; 
and the excesses of this despotism led to its speedy overthrow. 
But here was the great difierence between the fall of the Greek 
tyrants and the Roman kings. The former were mere usurpers ; 
the latter were the natural leaders of the people, who had indeed 
abused their power for a time, but whose loss left an injurious void 
in the constitution. The immediate effect of then- expulsion on the 
common people cannot be better described than in the words of 
Mr. Newman : — " The great cause of the prosperity of the city, was 
that the kings had headed the movement partly for enfranchising 
and elevating the lower classes. . . Upon the destruction of 
royalty, the lower population discovered that they had lost their 
patron, and were exposed to hundreds of tyrants. All the early 
history of the Roman republic is a long struggle of the common- 
alty to regain for itself a powerful protector : and, after a time, 
the success of the plebeians was complete. But Rome continued 
to conquer ; hence, outside of the plebeians fresh and fresh masses 
of subjects lay, who had no organs of protection, until the Roman 

* See the complete summary of the'Se chronological absurdities — which are mani- 
fest especially in the ages of the leading persons of the story — in Professor Malden'a 
Exstory of Rome, pp. 56, 5Y. 


constitution was violently subverted, and emperors arose. From 
these, at length, the population of the provinces gradually ob- 
tained the gift of Roman citizenship, which ought to have been 
long before granted by free Rome, in order to preserve her own 
freedom. It was conquest that ruined the later republic; and 
conquest, apparently, also that ruined royal Rome. When the 
victories of Ancus and Tarquin enlarged the state so rapidly, 7wt 
to have enfranchised the new subjects would have weakened it from 
within ; yet hy enfranchising them, Tarquin and Servius produced 
a discontent in the old citizens, which exploded into violence, and 
wrecked the constitution under Tarquin the Proud. If Brutus and 
Collatinus, instead of abolishing the royalty, had restored it with 
all the formalities of interregal election, but with such limitations 
as experience suggested, we now see that it would have been far 
better for the plebeians of Rome. The wicked deed of Sextus 
Tarquinius did not need royal power ; it might have been perpe- 
trated by any man who wore a sword. But it was attributed to 
the inherent haughtiness of royal blood, and the question of 
raisins: some one else to the throne was never even moved at all. 
In consequence, the plebeians were suddenly left without legal 
representatives. No man of their body was capable of holding 
office, because he was essentially inadmissible to patrician religion. 
It was soon manifested that, while excluded from executive 
government, possession of legislative power was a mockery : unfor- 
tunate war forced them to incur debt, and the penalties of debt 
were rigorously enforced. Art and skill migrated from Rome 
when her arms could no longer defend the industrious, and rude- 
ness so great came over the city of the Tarquins, that sheep and 
oxen became the current coin of a community which, but a little 
before, had made a treaty of commerce with Carthage. Under an 
exclusive patrician caste, Rome sank more rapidly than she had 
risen; until tyrannical powers, vested in tumultuous tribunes, 
became an alleviation of the intolerable evils caused by the loss of 
the elective king. For the destruction of the monarchy did not 
come in the ripeness of time, when monarchy had finished its 
work, and the lower people had gained the power of self-defence. 
It was the explosion of rage against an institution because of 
personal iniquity ; and it became the prelude to a century and a 
half of suffering to the plebeians." ^ 

* Newman's iJ^ffl^ jRoww, pp. 169 — lYl. 





B.C. 509 TO B.C. 390. 

" Then the great Consuls venerable rise : 
The public Father, who the private quelled, 
As on the dread tribunal, sternly sad : 
He, whom his thankless country could not lose, 
Camillus, only vengeful to her foes ; 
Fabricius, scorner of all-conquering gold ; 
And Cincinnatus, awful from the plough." — Thomson. 






KoME was delivered from tlie tyrant and his house. The Patri- 
cians lifted their heads once more : the lower orders rejoiced in 
the cessation of their forced burthens. The common sense of 
freedom disposed both orders to co-operate in the restoration of 
order ; and a common basis was furnished in the revival of the 
Comitia Centuriata. The forms of the constitution were scru- 
pulously observed. Though the royal family had been expelled, 
and the name of king abolished, the first step taken was to fill up 
the place thus left vacant at the head of the state by the inter- 
vention of an Interrex, as of old : Spurius Lucretius was appointed 
to this function, either in virtue of his office as warden of the city, 


or by the vote of the decimated Senate. He convened the people 
in the assembly of the Centuries, for the election of new chief 
magistrates. The change now made was of a very simple char- 
acter. By putting two elective magistrates in the place of one, 
and leaving each in fall possession of the powers of the former 
kings, independently of the other, a constant mutual check was 
provided against tyrannical usurpation. Their dignity was still 
marked by the chair of state * and the other insignia of royalty, 
except the diadem. Even the fasces and axes were retained, as 
the emblem of military power ; but they were borne by the twelve 
lictors only before one of the two magistrates, each for a month in 
turn. There was, however, no corresponding alternation in the 
exercise of their power, and no division of their functions, except 
such as convenience might suggest : as when one remained to 
administer justice in the city while the other was engaged abroad 
in war. It does not seem even to have been an essential condition 
of the office, that it should be held only for a year ; and, though 
this restriction was established by custom from the very first, the 
consulship did not expire of itself at the lapse of that period. It 
was only vacated by the magistrate's formally laying down his 
office ; nor does it appear that an attempt to prolong its tenure, 
however unconstitutional, would have been positively illegal. 
The repeated elections of the same man in the first years of the 
republic (as in the case of P. Yalerius Poplicola, who held office 
for four of the seven years before his death, three of them in suc- 
cession) show a tendency to a longer tenure ; but the accident of 
the deaths of two chief magistrates and the abdication of one, in 
the very first year of the republic, may have helped to establish 
the precedent of an annual election. In conformity with the 
military character of the Eoman state, these two chief magistrates 
were at first named Prodors \ (that is, generals) : fi:'om their judi- 
cial functions they were called Judices ', and from their equal 
authority they received that famous name of Consuls (that is, 
colleagues),X which did not prevail over the title of Prsetor till 

* The sella curiilis, a term not derived (as is often said) from currus, a chariot, but 
probably of the same root as curia. It was inlaid with ivory and, in later times, 
overlaid with gold. Its form, often shown on coins, was a square stool, with curved 
cross legs. It pertained to all the higher magistracies, which were hence called 
curvle. The royal chariot and purple robe were disused : the consuls walked on foot 
(except in a triumph) like other citizens, and wore a robe with only a purple hem 
(the toga proBtexta). 

f Literally leaders, those who go before, from proe and eo. The judicial officers, 
who afterwards bore the name oiprceiors, were first appointed in B.C. 366. 

f The true etymology of this word is from con (together), and the root which 


the restoration of the office, after its interruption by the decem- 
virs, in the 305th year of the city (b.c. 449). The celebrity, how- 
ever, of this latter title has caused it to be used from the beginning 
of the history of the republic. 

The consular office, then, as Mommsen observes, " manifestly 
sprang out of the endeavour to retain the regal power in legally 
undiminished fulness." But, after all that has been said of the 
elective character of the Roman royalty, we cannot but trace a 
sort of reverence for the patriarchal sanctity of the office, the 
" divinity doth hedge a king," which was not fully transferred to 
the consuls, as it has never been to Protector, Stadtholder, Presi- 
dent, or even to imperial adventurers. This was especially mani- 
fested in relation to the religious functions of the king, and his 
power of nominating the priests. For the sacrifices that he had 
been accustomed to oifer, as the patriarchal head of the state, 
special provision was now made ; and the conservative spirit of the 
Eoman religion was shown in retaining for this religious officer 
the otherwise proscribed name of King.* But, lest he should be 
tempted to aim at extending the meaning of the title, he paid the 
price of the great honours belonging to his office by incapacity for 
all civil functions. Even in his religious duties, he was subject 
to the supreme authority of the chief pontiff. The " Sacrificial 
King" was at once the first in rank and the least in power of all 
the Roman magistrates. In every other use, the title of King 
was ever abhorred by the Roman people with an almost fanatic 
hatred; and the first act of the new consuls, after they had 
purified the city, was to bind all the people by the oath, already 
sworn by Brutus over the body of Lucretia, that they would suffer 
no man ever again to be King in Rome. 

It was natural that the first consular election should fall upon 
Brutus, the hero of the revolution, and L. Tarquinius Collatinus, 
whose great wrong had been its immediate occasion. The choice 
of the latter was Hkely to conciliate the moderate partisans of the 
exiled family. But the public indignation proved too strong to 
endure the very name of a Tarquin, and Brutus himself made a 

appears in sed-eo (sit), sel-la. and solium (a seat), con-wHum {ccninsel), ex-sul (an exile, 
whose abode is out of the state), prse-siiZ (a president). 

* Jiez Sacrorum, king of the sacrifices. Just so, at Athens, the second archon, 
who presided over the pubUc worship of the state, was called the King Archon {apx(JV 
(iaailevq). Other royal prerogatives were abolished, as the enacting of forced labour 
to till the domain, the delegation of the military power to the FrcBfectus Urbi and the 
Triiunus Celerum, and of the judicial to the Qucesiores Parricidii. The latter now 
became permanent magistrates. 


motion, on the authority of a decree of the Senate, to deprive 
CoUatinus of his office, and to extend the sentence of banishment to 
the whole Tarquinian gens. CoUatinus yielded to the public feeling, 
and withdrew to Lavinium, where he lived to a good old age. The 
Comitia Centuriata elected Publius Valerius consul in his room.* 
This apparently harsh measure was probably rendered necessary 
by symptoms of that reaction which is wont to follow revolutions. 
The banished house had still a powerful party among the Roman 
nobles ; and they were plotting their restoration from the neigh- 
bouring Etruscan city of Caere. The story of these attempts is 
continued in the same poetical vein which we have traced through 
the whole history of the last Tarquin ; but it is surely needless to 
relate in full those beautiful legends, with which every educated 
reader will have been familiar from his childhood; — how the 
claim of Tarquin for the restoration of his property enabled his 
envoys to engage several noble families in the conspiracy which 
involved the death of the two sons of Brutus, and the sacrifice of 
their father's natural feelings in that ever memorable example of 
the stem Roman sense of duty : — how, when Tarquin marched 
against Rome, at the head of the forces of Tarquinii and Yeii, 
his son Aruns encountered Brutus in the face of both armies and 
they fell transfixed by each other's spears : — how, in the night 
that followed the indecisive battle, a supernatural voice, proclaim- 
ing that the Romans were victorious, smote the Etruscans with a 
panic fear, and the consul Yalerius returned to Rome, to celebrate 
the first triumph of the republic, and the funeral obsequies of 
Brutus, whose statue in bronze, holding a naked sword, was 
placed in the Capitol, in the midst of the effigies of the kings : — 
how Yalerius, falling into suspicion through his delay in the 
election of another colleague, and because of the splendid house he 
had built upon the Yelia, came forward to clear himself before the 
people, lowered his fasces in acknowledgment of their sovereignty, 
pulled down his palace, and received in recompense a plot of 
ground at the bottom of the hill : — how he carried the laws pro- 
claiming outlawry against the man who should aim at kingly 
power, and securing every citizen the right of appeal from the 

* Thus, in the very first year of the republic, we have an example (and we shall meet 
with two more before the end of the same year) of what was afterwards called the 
" consul sufFectus," or supplied consul. Such an one succeeded, in all respects, to the 
position of the consul whose vacant place he filled up, and went out of oflBce at the 
expiration of his predecessor's term. This does not, of course, apply to the nominal 
consuls under the empire, of whom there were often two or three sets in one year, 
appointed merely as a mark of imperial favour. 


sentence of a magistrate within the city and one mile round ;* — 
and how these measm*es gained for him the surname of Poplicola, 
the People's Friend. After carrying these laws alone, Valerius 
convened the Comitia, for the election of a consul in place of 
Brutus. Their choice fell first upon Spurius Lucretius, and — on 
his death after only a few days — upon M. Horatius Pulvillus. 

Such are the transactions which tlie legendary stories ascribe to 
the first year of the Republic (b.c. 509). Of its real history, we 
possess an invaluable remnant in the treaty with Carthage, which 
was engraved on brass, and escaped the destruction of the city by 
the Gauls. Its chief provisions are preserved by Polybius, who 
tells us that he translated it with difficulty, as its archaic style was 
barely intelligible to the Romans of his day.f The Carthaginians 
bound themselves to make no trading settlements on the coasts of 
Latium or Campagnia ; and the Romans engaged not to sail south 
of the Hermean promontory {C. Bon). Rome is recognized as 
the head of Latium, and as possessing the Italian coast, as far as 
the Bay of Tarracina. 

In the second year of the Republic (b.c. 508), when Valerius 
was again consul, with Titus Lucretius, the brother of Lucretia, a 
new census was taken, and the aniied force was found to be 
130,000.:}: In the next year (b.c. 507) Yalerius was consul for 
the third time, and had M. Horatius Pulvillus again for his 
colleague. In this year, according to the annalists, the temple 
of the Capitol was finished, and it fell to the republican consuls 
to dedicate this great work of the two Tarquins. They cast lots 
for the honour ; the lot fell upon Horatius ; § and Yalerius de- 
parted to carry on the war with Yeii. But his friends were 
envious of his colleague, and they contrived a stratagem to post- 
pone the ceremony. Horatius had laid his hand upon the gate- 
post, and was beginning the prayer of dedication, when a cry was 

* This was in effect the abdication of the imperium within the prescribed limits, and 
in sign thereof the consular /osces were born without the axes : but beyond those limits 
the consul retained the full imperium of the kings, and the axes were bound up with 
the fasces. 

f It is one among other similar proofs of Livy's negligence, that he takes no notice 
of this treaty. If the labour of deciphering it, from which Polybius had not shrunk, 
was too great for a Roman, he might have retranslated it from Polybius. 

X The census of Servius Tullius is said to have given 84,700 citizens ; but all 
these numbers are of very doubtful authority. See Arnold, History of Rome, voL i., 
p. 131. 

§ Here is an indication how completely the consulship was, like the royalty, vested in 
the individual and not in the two conjointly, or, as the Romans would say, in the " colle- 
gium." Thus the consuls are never called duumviri. 


heard, — " Consul, thy son is slain." A single word of mourning 
would have broken off the rite by its evil omen. " Carry out the 
dead," said Horatius, still holding the post and finishing the 
prayer ; and, when the ceremony was over, he found that his son 
was alive and well. The dedication was followed by a prodigy, 
decisive of the question which seemed now to hang in doubt, 
whether the Romans or the Etruscans should prevail. Tarquin 
had ordered a chariot of clay to be moulded by the artists of Yeii, 
to surmount the temple. It swelled so much in the baking, that 
the furnace had to be pulled down in order to remove it ; and 
the Etruscan soothsayers promised empire to the possessors of the 
chariot. The Veientines now refused to give it up, as being the 
property of Tarquin. A few days after, a charioteer, who had 
just won a prize in their races, was carried off by his horses at 
full speed, and dashed down lifeless at one of the gates of Rome. 
The Etruscans obeyed the will of the gods, thus plainly declared, 
and delivered up the chariot, which was placed on the summit of 
the Capitol. 

For the present, however, Rome seemed destined to subjugation 
by the Tuscans. The war with Porsenna represents an historical 
event, though obscured by the utter confusion of the chronology, 
and by the poetic legends under which the Romans disguised their 
defeat. The early date of the war — in the second or third year of 
the republic — seems a device to keep up the fiction that it was 
waged for the sake of the Tarquins, though the success of Por- 
senna was not followed by their restoration. We must forego the 
pleasure of recounting the well-known legend, how 

" Lars Porsena of Clusium 

By the Nine Gods he swore, 
That the great house of Tarquin 
Should suffer wrong no more :" * 

how he marched upon Rome, at the head of the united force 
of the twelve Etruscan cities, and seized the suburb of Jani- 
culum : — 

" How well Horatius kept the bridge 
In the brave days of old : " — 

and how the self-devotion of Mucins Scaevola, and the gallantry 

* The Roman poets are divided as to the quantity of the name, Porsena, Porsena, or 
Porsenna. Virgil's learning, and the recent investigations into the Etruscan language, are 
in favour of the long penult. Legendary as is the story of Porsenna, there is 
no reason to doubt his having been king of Clusium ( Chiusi), a city in the central 
Mil-country of Etruria, on an eminence overlooking the river Clanis and the Lacus Clu- 


of Cloelia and her fellow maidens, won from the fear and magna- 
nimity of Porsenna an honourable peace. The attempt to conceal 
defeat by occupying attention with a few heroic actions, real or 
imaginary, proves the high spirit, as well as the ingenuity, of the 
Roman annalists.* There is generally some unguarded point in 
such fables, at which the truth peeps out ; and the writers who 
represent the offering of the insignia of royalty to Tarquinius 
Priscus by the Etruscan states, as a token of subjection, tells "us 
that the like present was sent by the Romans to Porsenna, in 
acknowledgment of his generosity. 

But, before relating what we know of the real truth, we may 
glance at the final scene in the legend of the Tarquins. The last 
champion of their cause was the Latin prince, Octavius Mamilius, 
the dictator of Tusculum, who led out the confederacy to a new 
war with Rome, and perished in the great battle won by the 
dictator Aulus Postumius Albus, at the lake Regillus, with the 
aid of the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), who rode at the dictator's 
right hand on their white horses, and appeared the same evening 
at Rome to announce the victory. The gigantic print of a horse's 
hoof was shown in the rock on the margin of the lake, and the 
festival of the Twin Sons of Jove was kept on the anniversary of 
the battle, the Ides of Quinctilis (July 15, b.c. 498 or 4:96).f 
Titus Tarquinius, and, as some say, Sextus, died on this battle- 
field; and the aged king found shelter with Aristodemus, the 
tyrant of Cumse, where he died wi*etched and childless (b.c. 496).:}: 
Between the war with Porsenna and the battle of the lake Reo-illus, 
the annalists place a war with the Sabines, in which P. Yalerius, 
consul for the fourth time, gained a great victory and the surname 
of Maximus, and in which the Sabine Attus Clausus seceded to 
Rome with all his clients, and founded the great patrician house 
of the Appii Claudii (e.g. 504). 

The Battle of the Lake Regillus may be regarded as the close of 

* The device is not unknown in a more sober age of history. By filling up his nar- 
rative of the battle of Trafalgar with one or two gallant combats of ship against ship, 
M. Thiers comes to the conclusion that there remained with England a dearbought 
victory, with France the glory of a devoiiement unparalleled in the history of na- 

\ The ancient writers, who give these dates, confess the uncertainty of the chronology. 
For the poetical view of the battle, see Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome. 

X According to the popular chronology, this was 120 years from the time when his 
father ascended the throne in mature age! Tarquinius Superbus must have been 113 
years old at his death, two years after he had fought in person by lake Regillus, and '75 
when, in his youthful vigour, he hurled Servius down the steps of the senate-house 1 
These are by no means all the chronological absurdities of the story. 


the distinctly mythical period of Koman history, though the vein 
of poetical fable often reappears during the ensuing century, down 
to the story of Camillus. We cannot pass from this legendary 
period without quoting the summary of the brilliant writer, who, 
himself a great historian, has contributed so much to the poetical 
illustration of the early Roman annals : — " The early history of 
Rome is indeed far more poetical than anything else in Latin 
literature. The loves of the Yestal and the God of War, the 
cradle laid among the reeds of Tiber, the fig-tree, the she-wolf, 
the shepherd's cabin, the recognition, the fratricide, the rape of 
the Sabines, the death of Tarpeia, the fall of Ilostus Hostilius, the 
struggle of Mettus Curtius through the marsh, the women rushing 
with torn raiment and dishevelled hair between their fathers and 
their husbands, the nightly meetings of Numa and the Nymph by 
the well in the sacred grove, the fight of the three Romans and 
the three Albans, the purchase of the Sybilline books, the crime 
of TuUia, the simulated madness of Bnitiis, the ambiguous reply 
of the Delphic oracle to the Tarquins, the wrongs of Lucretia, the 
heroic actions of Horatius Codes, of Scgevola, and of Clcelia, the 
battle of Regillus won by the aid of Castor and Pollux, the 
defence of Cremera, the touching story of Coriolanus, the still 
more touching story of Virginia, the wild legend about the drain- 
ing of the Alban lake, the combat between Valerius Corvus . and 
the gigantic Gaul, are among the many instances which will at 
once suggest themselves to every reader." * 

And now, what was the real condition of Rome in the fifteen 
years that elapsed from the expulsion of the Tarquins to the begin- 
ning of the long conflict between the patricians and plebeians ? 
The great external fact of her history is her conquest by the 
Etruscans, and the loss of the whole territory on the right bank of 
the Tiber, which had been won by the enterprise of the kings, 
and quietly held during the long period of their Tuscan alliance. 
Even later writers knew the truth which Livy had chosen to 
conceal under the old poetic fables. Tacitus expressly says that 
the city was surrendered to Porsenna. Pliny quotes the treaty, 
by which the Romans were debarred from the use of iron, except 
for agriculture. The price which Rome paid for peace, — the loss 
of one-third of her territory, — is attested by the reduction of the 
country tribes from 26 to 16, making the whole number 20 
instead of 30. The invasion, which the legend ascribes to Lars 
Porsenna's espousal of the cause of Tarquin, seems to have 

Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome, Preface, pp. 4, 5. 


originated in one of these great movements of the Etruscans 
southwards, which, as we have already seen, brought them into 
conflict with the Greek cities of Italy about this time.* It 
appears to have been a great check sustained before Aricia that 
prevented their overrunning the whole of Latium. The story 
goes, that, after the campaign of Porsenna against Rome, his son 
Aruns attacked Aricia. The cities of the Latin confederacy joined 
to raise the siege ; and, with the aid of Aristodemus, the tyrant 
of Cumse, they defeated the Etruscans, and drove them back 
beyond the Tiber. Rome, in consequence, regained her independ- 
ence ; but it was long before she recovered the lost lands beyond 
the Tiber, This account would imply also the recovery of inde- 
pendence by the Latins ; and accordingly we find Rome making a 
new league with the confederacy a few years later (b.c. 493). 
Upon the whole, it seems that, within a few years of the expul- 
sion of the kings, Rome was tlu-own back ahnost, if not quite, 
within the limits of her original territory; but still with the 
advantage of that previous recognition of her headship of the 
Latin confederacy, which would furnish a starting point for its 
recovery on the first opportunity. Whether the legend of the 
battle of Regillus represents a partially successful effort to regain 
supremacy in Latium, before the Latin states had time to reor- 
ganize their confederacy, can only be a matter of conjecture. 
The loss of territory in Etruria, and of influence in Latium, was 
but slightly compensated by the voluntary accession of a Sabine 
clan, which raised the diminished number of the tribes to twenty- 
one. For the next century and a half, Rome was engaged in 
reconquering what she had lost by her revolution. 

The most important constitutional matter alluded to in the 
legendary history of these years is the appointment of a Dictator, 
The first dictator is said to have been Titus Lartius, in the tenth 
year of the republic (b.c. 501) ; the second, Aulus Postumius, in 
the year of the battle of Regillus. The ofiice was, in fact, a tem- 
porary restoration of the full power which formerly resided in the 
king, whenever the limitations of the consular power might 
endanger the public safety. Of such an emergency the senate 
were the judges, and the appointment was made by the consul, 
without even the form of popular election. The well-known title 
of this ofiicer, Dictator (that is, commander), was borrowed from 
the Latins, but his proper Roman appellation was " Master of the 
People " {Magister Pojyuli). His appointment at once superseded 

* See chap. xix. p. 143. 
VOL. II. — 15 


the authority of the ordinary magistrates, who became entirely 
subject to his control. He had for a deputy the "Master of the 
Horse," who answered to the Tribunus Celerum under the 
Monarchy. His judicial power, like that of the king, was limited 
by no right of appeal to the people, except by his own permission. 
The obvious danger, that the office might be converted into an 
actual royalty, was guarded against by its strict limitation to six 
months ; and such was the good faith of those appointed to this 
power, that they generally laid it down as soon as their work was 
done, without waiting for the expiration of that term. This 
revival of the full regal power, at any moment, proved more than 
once the salvation of the state ; but it was also a ready instrument 
by which the senate could supersede the constitution at seasons of 
popular ferment, until a plebeian consul ventured to appoint a 
plebeian dictator, in B.C. 356. There was another mode in which 
the senate took upon themselves to revive the regal power, without 
the appointment of a dictator, by passing the decree " that the 
consuls should see to it, that no harm befell the Republic." 

The constitution of the Senate itself remained unaltered in 
theory. Like the council of the Homeric kings, its chief func- 
tion had been to advise the supreme magistrate, without taking 
any direct part in the administration. This function was con- 
tinued in relation to the consuls, while the great power was 
gained of initiating the motions to be laid before the Comitia. 
On the other hand, a large popular element was introduced into 
the Senate by the admission of the heads of plebeian houses to 
supply the vacancies which Tarquin had left unfilled. It is said 
that no less than 164 (a clear majority of the 300 members) were 
added as " conscripts " to the roll of the ancient senators.* But 
it would be a mistake to infer that a regard for plebeian interests 
gained at once a preponderance in the senate. Bodies of men 
have, like individuals, a character which easily becomes tradi- 
tional, and which is wont to absorb, in a marvellous degree, the 
individuality of what would seem the most heterogeneous ele- 
ments. At Rome, as elsewhere, we have distinguished examples 
of " new men " talking the most loudly of " our order." The 
possession for life of a dignity, which was originally founded on 
a patrician basis, and which could only be threatened from below, 
formed the strongest common bond ; and, besides, the plebeians 
now enrolled were no doubt chosen for their wealth, 

* See above, p, 161. Before this time, plebeians had been admitted only individual- 
ly, and that rarely. 


The consuls — though not, as such, members of the senate, but 
only its official presidents * — had the power of appointing new 
members, which had originally belonged to the Gentes, but had 
also been exercised by the kings. This power was afterwards shared 
by the consular tribunes and the censors. The selection, however, 
was not arbitrary, and it became the custom to admit to the senate 
all who had passed the cm-ule offices, unless there was some special 
reason for their exclusion. The lists were revised every fourth year, 
at first by the consuls, and afterwards by the censors, who had the 
power of " passing over " — by simply not entering them in the new 
lists — the names, not only of the ex-magistrates as new members, 
but of actual members of the senate.f Besides their elevation to 
the senatorial order in their own persons, the curule magistrates 
were regarded as the founders of a new order, not indeed invested 
with any power in the state, but possessing the vast influence 
of social rank. Their families became the Nobility {nobiles, the 
known), an order which succeeded to much of the exclusiveness 
of the old patricians, and regarded the commonalty:}: in the 
same spirit in which these had looked down upon the plebeians. 
The chief outward distinction of the nobles was the privilege of 
setting up in their houses the images of their ancestors, which 
were displayed on festive days and carried forth in funeral pro- 
cessions : a right like that of coats-of-arms among ourselves, when 
armorial bearings had still a meaning.§ One who had no such 
signs of ancestry, on attaining to the honom-s of the state, was 
called a " new man," and had to maintain a constant conflict 
with the pride which boasted of being " the accident of an acci- 
dent." It was at the period of the Second Punic War that the 
nobles attained their highest power, and were able to exclude all 
" new men " from the consulship, except a very few of the highest 
merit, like Marius and Cicero, both, by a remarkable coincidence, 
natives of the same Latin town, Arpinum. But, further still, the 
second order in the state, that of the Knights, composing the 
rich middle class, though not without frequent grounds of quarrel 

* All the curule magistrates, as well as the Pontifex Maximus and the Flamen Dialis, 
belonged to the " Senatorial Order," and had seats m the senate ex officio, with the right 
of speakmg, though not of voting. They possessed, however, the curious privilege of 
going over to join either party, when the division had taken place, whence they were 
called Senaiores Pedarii, or senators of the foot. 

•)• Those so degraded were called prceteriti senaiores, 

\ Ignobiles, the unknown. 

§ The right was called i\xQJus imaginum. The images were figures with masks of 
wax, painted to resemble the person represented. 


witli tlie nobles, thi'ew its weight into their scale as against the 
common people ; and the two orders, under the assumed name of 
Ojptimates^^ formed a compact conservative aristocracy, in which 
the old distinction between patricians and plebeians was so con- 
pletel J lost, that the term Plebs itself came to be applied to the 
mass of the common people. 

Such was the final development of that aristocratic character of 
the Roman constitution, which appeared at first in the preponder- 
ance of the patricians, and the rich citizens enrolled in the highest 
class, over the body of the plebeians, and in the conservative spirit 
with which old institutions were maintained, especially the religious 
ceremonies of the gentiles^ and the exclusion of plebeians from 
intermarriage with patricians. The disqualification of the ple- 
beians for the higher magistracies was a consequence of their 
being allowed no part in the religious rites which were essential 
to their inauguration; and such disabilities, resting on such a 
basis, could not but be felt as a standing wrong, to be redressed 
on the earliest opportunity. The exclusion had been less felt, 
when the chief magistrate was disposed to favour the plebeians 
as a counterpoise to the patrician order, and when he held for 
life a power which enabled him eifectually to protect them: 
but the more restricted power of the consuls was exercised under 
the direct control of the patrician body, from which they were 
raised, and into which they returned after a tenure of office too brief 
to give them real political power. If, as often happens in every 
patrician body, a magistrate were disposed to make a popular use 
of his power, the means were at hand to check him, by the author- 
ity of his colleague, and by the intei*position of the colleges of 
priests, and if all else failed, he might be superseded by a dictator. 
The annual change of officers, combined with the privilege of 
initiating all the measures to be laid before the Comitia, threw into 
the hands of the senate the control of all the business of the state 
which extended beyond a single year, and especially the manage- 
ment and distribution of the public lands. The same body obtained 
the control of the public purse, which had formerly been under the 
management of the king. The annual election by the Comitia 
Centuriata of the two Qucestors, to manage the finances (an insti- 
tution ascribed to Yalerius Poplicola), might seem to have placed 
the power of the pm*se in the hands of the popular assembly ; but 
in fact the quaestors became mere paymasters under the direction 

* That is, like " aristocracy," the party of the best. In the conflicts of the later re- 
public, they are found constantly assuming the appellation of the Good {honi). 


of the senate, witlioiit whose authority neither the consuls nor even 
the dictator could draw money from the treasury. In short, the 
government was more aristocratic than before the revolution ; but 
the plebeians were constituted an organized opposition within the 
body of the citizens. The Servian constitution had done little more 
than subject them to a share of the public burthens ; but the rights 
they now obtained, though narrowly restricted, contained the germ 
of their future power. " Hitherto the metdeci * had been politically 
nothing, the old bm'gesses had been everything; now that the 
former were embraced in the community, the old bm'gesses were 
overcome ; for, much as might be wanting to full civil equality, it is 
the first breach, not the occupation of the last post, that decides the 
fall of the fortress. "With justice, therefore, the Roman community 
dated its political existence from the beginning of the consulship." 
The struggle, which lasted for two centuries (b.c. 500 — 300) 
before the plebeians were admitted to an equality of civil rights, did 
not, however, begin on any abstract question of politics, but from 
the more imperious demands of material hardship. Poverty and 
hunger are great quickeners of the sense of political oppression. 
The new government made various economical regulations — accord- 
ing to the economical lights of those days — to promote the growth 
of wealth, and to relieve poverty. The port dues were lowered ; 
corn was bought up by the state when its price was high, and the 
salt-works at the mouth of the Tiber were kept in the hands of 
government, that these necessaries might be supplied to the citizens 
at reasonable prices. Limits were set to the fines which the 
magistrates could impose. But capital was fostered more than 
poverty was relieved ; and an impulse was given to the formation 
of a class of capitalists by the system of farming the revenue. The 
selfish interests of the nobles were adverse to the middle class of 
small landholders. In the management of the public lands, the 
allotments of the plebeians were withheld, and the dues of the 
patricians to the state were negligently exacted. By tliis default 
an unfair portion of the taxes was thrown upon the plebeians, 
while their means for bearing the burthen were narrowed. The 
losses sufiered in the wars that followed the establishment of the 
republic fell, of coui*se, cliiefly on the smaller landliolders, whose aU 
lay in the farms of which they were stript by the invaders. The 
taxes and forced labour which these wars entailed, the necessity of 
rebuilding their houses and restocking their farms, compelled them 

* This is the Greek term which Dr. Mommsen chooses to apply to the plebeians. The 
quotation is from his History of Rome, vol. i., p. 272. 


to incur debts, wLicli were exacted with all the severity of the 
Roman law. Not only the possessions, but the persons of the 
debtor and his family, became the property of his creditor, who, 
from self-interest rather than mercy, held him in a position " in 
which he knew nothing of property but its burthens," or, when he 
became too poor for any more to be wi'ung out of him as a tenant, 
sent him to grind in the horrible dungeons which the great houses 
used as prisons. In no point is the oppression of a wealthy aristocracy 
more conspicuous, than in the old Roman law of debt. The bor- 
rower was bound b}^ contract to repay the loan by a stated day, and 
in the absence of such an agreement the patrician judge fixed the 
day of payment. In case of default, he was assigned as a bonds- 
man to his creditor ; and, if thirty days passed without payment, his 
master might throw him into prison, and feed him with bread and 
water. At the lapse of another month, he might sell the debtor 
for a slave, or, if he pleased, put him to death. If there were 
several creditors, they might divide his body among them ; and the 
law provided with merciless ingenuity against the humane evasion 
immortalized by Shakspere, by enacting that " whether a man cut 
more or less than his due, he should incur no penalty." Unprofit- 
able as such cruelty was, it is not unUkely to have been practised 
in the spirit of vindictiveness, or in the wanton sense of power. 
These sufferings were aggravated by the sight of the wealthier 
plebeians, who should have been the natural protectors of the poor 
of their own order, identified with the order of their oppressors by 
their admission into the Senate, and by the advantages bestowed 
on capital. Such is the picture which the annalists draw of the 
state of the plebeians in general, as early as the fifteenth year of 
the republic. 

One resource remained to the plebeians for resisting this intol- 
erable tyi'anny — their place in the military organization of the 
state. The contest broke out (according to the common chrono- 
logy) in the fifteenth year of the republic (b.c. 495), when .the 
consuls were Pubhus Seiwilius and the proud Sabine nobleman 
who had lately come to Rome, where he distinguished himself by 
the haughty contempt for the lower orders which marked the 
name of Appius Claudius through many a generation, — 
" For never was there Claudius yet, but wished the Commons ill." 

Inflamed, as the story goes, by the appeal of an aged veteran, who 
rushed into the Forum, loaded with chains, red with stripes, 
squalid and emaciated with imprisonment, the people burst forth 
into such a storm of indignation, that Claudius fled and hid him 


self, and Servilius promised to plead their cause with the senate. 
Just at this crisis, the levy of the state had to be called out to 
meet an invasion of the Volscians ; and it was feared that the 
plebeians would refuse to serve. The consul Servilius suspended 
the obnoxious law, and gave orders for the liberation of the im- 
prisoned debtors. The plebeians followed the popular consul to 
victory ; but the senate refused a triumph to Servilius, and his 
colleague Appius Claudius entorced the law again in all its rigour. 
The following year (b.c. 494), the enemy appeared again; and 
the plebeians refused to be cajoled with promises a second time. 
It was not till the senate appointed Manius Valerius dictator, 
that the malcontents yielded to the authority of his office and 
the popularity of his name. He again suspended the laws of debt 
during the war ; and on his return as a victor, he laid before the 
senate a proposal for their amendment. But the patrician party, 
headed by Appius Claudius, again prevailed ; and Valerius indig- 
nantly laid down his office. As soon as the news reached the 
army, which awaited the result outside the city walls, they aban- 
doned their general, and, headed by the military tribunes, the 
legions marched away to the district between the Tiber and the 
Anio. There they took up their position on a hiU, on which they 
threatened to build a new plebeian city, commanding the most 
fertile part of the Roman territory. The patricians, thus aban- 
doned by the farmers who tilled their lands, were compelled to 
yield, in spite of the boast of Appius, that they and their clients 
could carry on their state without the base aid of the plebeians. 
Valerius was sent to make terms with the seceders, accompanied 
by another ex-dictator, Titus Lartius, and by an aged senator, 
Menenius Agrippa, who is said to have overcome the obstinacy of 
the people by the famous apologue of " the belly and the mem- 
bers." The terms insisted on by the people involved a vital 
change in the constitution. Besides temporary measures for the 
reUef of their present distress, by the cancelling of old debts and 
the foundation of mOitary colonies, they required the appointment 
of two permanent officers of their own body, to be elected annually, 
like the two consuls. These were the Tkibuxes of the Plebs 
{Trihuni Plebis\ a name taken either from the existing office of the 
tribunes of the thirty Servian tribes, or from the military organi- 
zation of the people under the military tribunes at the time of the 
appointment. The office itself was purely civil, its design being 
to act as a counterpoise to the power of the consuls and the 
senate, by protecting the plebeians from the oppression of the 


patrician magistrates, and in case of need punishing tlieir op- 
pressors. Their prerogatives may be summed up under the two 
heads of "intervention" and "jurisdiction." By the former, the 
tribune might cancel any command issued by a magistrate affect- 
ing a citizen, on a protest made in person by the appellant, who 
might thus obtain exemption from a military levy or from arrest 
for debt. To give every aggrieved person an opportunity of 
placing himself under the tribune's protection, it was enacted 
that the latter must not leave the city, and that his house should 
be open day and night. The "jurisdiction" of the tribunes 
extended over every citizen, even over the consul while in office, 
and embraced the power of imprisonment, fines, and death. From 
all their sentences there was an appeal to the people, not in the 
Comitia Centuriata, but in the Comitia Tributa, before whom the 
tribunes must appear to defend their sentences. This assembly, 
in which plebeian influence was made predominant, by the absence 
of the artificial gradations of suffrage by centuries, became the 
great sphere of action of the plebeian tribunes. By their juris- 
diction, the new principle was introduced of making magistrates 
personally responsible for acts done in their official capacity, and 
that not according to any fixed law, but at the pleasure of a 
populace excited by the leaders of their party. The right of the 
tribunes to address the people in defence of their judicial sen- 
tences was naturally extended to a general licence of speaking in 
the assembly; and hence arose the right of initiating in the 
Comitia Tributa those resolutions of the plebs (pleMscita), which 
at a later period acquired the force of law.* Thus the tribunes 
obtained a share in the legislative power which had formerly 
been exercised by the consuls under the direction of the senate. 

As it was foreseen that these powers, so adverse to the patri- 
cian order, would expose their possessors to constant danger, it 
was enacted that their persons should be inviolable {sacrosancii) 
within the city and that space around it which was exempted from 
the consular imperium. Beyond that limit, they were subject to 
the authority of the magistrate, like any other citizen ; nor were 
their powers of any avail agamst his authority. Against a dictator, 
they were equally powerless within the limits of the city. It is 
still a matter of dispute whether they were elected by the Centu- 
ries or by the Curiae : the latter is the more probable ; and at all 
events, their election at first required the confirmation of the 

* By the " Icilian Law " (b.c. 492 ?) the interruption of a tribune in addressing the 
Comitia TVibuia was made punishable with death. 


Ourise. Tliej did not receive the imperium^ nor were they regarded 
as magistrates. Invested with none of the regal insignia, and 
seated on a plain stool, instead of the ivory curiile chair, their 
office was contrasted with the consulate as much by the absence of 
external pomp as by the unlimited reality of power. Its first 
purpose, of protecting the commonalty from oppression under a 
particular law, was but partially accomplished, inasmuch as the 
evil lay in the law itself, not merely in its administration ; nor did 
the power thus placed in the hands of the plebeians give the 
poor any adequate protection against the rich, many of whom 
were of their own order. The real effect of the institution was to 
give to the discord between rich and poor a legal recognition and 
organization. After the time of the decemvu'al legislation, the office 
originally instituted for the protection of individuals from oppres- 
sion grew into a constitutional but irresponsible i^eto vested in 
the leaders of the opposition. The increase of the number of the 
tribunes from two to five, and afterwards to ten — combined with 
the change which transferred the right of intervention from the 
majority of the college to each individual — not only led to a more 
arbitrary and obstructive exercise of their power, but often enabled 
the nobles to use some tribune to neutralize the policy of his col- 
leagues. It cannot, however, be denied that the office had its 
use in giving a legitimate character to the popular opposition, and 
in preventing those perpetual alternations of exile, and those 
murderous conflicts, which were the common incidents of party 
contests among the Greeks. 

The law for the appointment of the Tribunes of the Plebs was 
carried by the dictator Yalerius, who caused every citizen to take 
an oath to observe it. It was deposited in the temple of Vesta — 
which became the special sanctuary of the plebeians, as that of 
Saturn was of the patricians — under the charge of the two ple- 
beian yEdiles.* These magistrates, who were elected annually, 
first by the Centuries or Curise, and afterwards by the Comitia 
Tributa, were associated with the tribunes as their attendants and 
assistants, and stood in much the same relation to them, as the 
qusestors to the consuls. Their functions were afterwards greatly 
enlarged. They were made the keepers of the resolutions of the 
senate as well as of the plebs (b.c. 446). To them was entrusted 
the superintendence of all buildings, both public and private, 
the supply of water, and the whole sanitary police of the city ; 
the distributions of corn to the poorer citizens {annon(2) ; the care 

* Their title was derived from the house {cedes) of the goddess. 


of the public lands ; the superintendence of the markets and of 
weights and measures ; the ordering of and presidency over the 
public festivals ; and, lastly, the duty of seeing that no new deities 
or rites were introduced. The office of the Curule -^diles was not 
instituted till e.g. 365. While the plebeians obtained the perma- 
nent protection of their tribunes and sediles, their present distress 
was in part relieved by the sending out of a military colony to 
Yelitrae, a town conquered from the Yolscians. Such were the very 
momentous results of the famous Secession to the Sacred Mount^ 
for such was the name by which the commons celebrated the posi- 
tion they had taken up on the hill in the lands of Crustumerium. 

Tlie first year after this great political victory of the plebeians 
is marked in the Roman annals by two famous names, the one of 
a bitter enemy of the order, the other of a friend, who sealed his 
devotion by his blood. Caius Makcius Coriolanus, who had 
already distinguished himself, as a youth of seventeen, at the 
battle of the Lake Regillus, where he received from the dictator 
the " civic crown " — an oaken wreath — for saving the life of a 
fellow-citizen, and who gained his surname this year by his exploit 
in taking the Yolscian city of Corioli, is the hero of a legend, in 
illustrating which our own greatest poet has vied with the old 
Eoman bards. We may assume that those who have not read the 
story as told by Livy are familiar with the tragedy of Shakspeare ; 
but, if there be any historic basis for it at all, we must not fail to 
notice the bitter and pertinacious hostility to the plebeians implied 
in the proposal of Coriolanus, to extort the surrender of the tribu- 
nate as the price of saving them from famine. 

Of Spukius Cassius, Dr. Arnold has well said, that "by a 
strange compensation of fortune, the first Roman, whose greatness 
is really historical, is the man whose deeds no poet sang, and whose 
memory the early annalists, repeating the language of the party 
who destroyed him, have branded with the charge of treason and 
attempted tyranny. Amidst the silence and the calumnies of his 
enemies, he is known as the author of three works, to which Rome 
owed all her future greatness : he concluded the league with the 
Latins in his second consulship ; in his third, he concluded the 
league with the Hemicans, and procured, although with the price 
of his own life, the enactment of the first agrarian law." * The 
treaty with the Latins, concluded in b.c. 493, was preserved at 
Rome on a brazen pillar down to the time of Cicero. Its terms of 
perfect eouahty prove how completely the Latins had regained their 

* Arnold's History of Rome, vol. i. pp. 151, 152. 


independence ; and tlie names of the thirty cities indicate witliin 
what narrow limits the Roman territory had been thrown back.* 
The language of the treaty, as quoted by Dionysius of Halicar- 
nassus, affords an interesting example of the style of such instru- 
ments at that early age : — " There shall be peace between them so 
long as the heaven shall keep its place above the earth, and the 
earth its place below the heaven ; they shall neither wage, nor 
cause to be waged, any war against each other, nor give to each 
other's enemies a passage through their land ; they shall aid each 
other, when attacked, with all their might, and all spoils and 
plunder won by their joint arms shall be shared equally between 
them." After a clause for the settlement of private disputes 
between citizens of the two states, it was agreed that when their 
armies were in the field together, the command should be given in 
alternate years to the Roman and the Latin general. 

These stipulations evidently point to a common danger from 
some enemy, whose attacks were the chief motive for the union of 
the two states. The legendary stories, confirmed so far by the 
subsequent history, enable us to find that enemy in the warlike 
peoples of the Yolscians and the -^quians, two branches of the 
Umbro-Samnite race. The former, as we have already seen, 
occupied the south of Latium ; the latter had their seats in the 
Apennines, on the upper Anio. Their attacks at this period on 
the Latins and the Romans may be probably ascribed to the pres- 
sure of the Etruscans, who were extending their power through 
Central Italy and down into Campagnia.f The long wars with these 
tribes, and with the Etruscans, form the sum of the foreign history 
of Rome down to the Gallic invasion ; and the varying fortunes of 
those wars bear a close relation to the internal history of the city. 

The league was strengthened, seven years later, in the third 
consiilship of Spurius Cassius, by the accession of the Hernicans, 
a Sabine people who dwelt in that high valley of the Apennines 
which extends from the break in the chain at Praeneste to the 
upper course of the Liris, and whose position, between the 
^Equians on the north and the Yolscians on the south, was pecu- 
liarly dangerous (b.c. 486). I^o stronger proof could be given of the 
wisdom of the foreign policy of Spurius Cassius than the fact that 
his league with the Latins remained unbroken for a fall century, 
till the Gallic invasion y and yet his accusers charged him with 
sacrificing the interests of Rome to those of the Latins. Party 

* The occurrence of Corioli among these names is a significant commentary on the 
legend of Coriolanus, which makes it a Volscian town. \ See p. 143. 


jealousy can always forge weapons of attack equally out of success 
or failure. That active hostilities were carried on, especially with 
the Volscians, during these seven years, is implied in the legend 
of Coriolanus, which (under its poetical veil) confesses tlie repulse 
of the enemy after great danger to Rome. This inference agrees 
with the ascription of the two triumphs to Spurius Cassius, and with 
the fact that a new division of public land had to be made. 

The consul seized the opportunity to strike a blow at the great 
iniquity which lay at the root of the civil dissensions — the system 
of occupation of the public land by the patricians, and the with- 
holding assignments of it from the plebeians. He proposed to 
the Comitia Centuriata the first of those famous, but grievously 
misunderstood measures, known as Ageaeian Laws. To the 
illustrious !Riebuhr is due the merit of dispelling the popular 
misapprehension, that the principle of an agrarian law consisted in 
the resumption by the state of its supposed natural right, to all 
the land under its protection, and its redistribution to the citizens, 
rich and poor alike, on equal terms. Xo such confiscation of 
private property was dreamt of in these laws. They dealt solely 
with the agcr jpublicvs^ the nature of which has abeady been 
explained ; and their primary object was to secure for the ple- 
beians those allotments of arable ground, and that fair share in 
the use of the pasture-land, which the cupidity of the patricians 
had vdthheld, and to exact from the occupiers of the remainder 
their stipulated rent. Spurius Cassius proposed that the public 
domain should be measured, a part of it leased for the benefit of the 
state, and another portion distributed among the needy citizens. 
The popularity of the consul and the fear of another secession 
prevailed over the violent opposition of the patricians, headed by 
his colleague, Proculus Yirginius,* The measure was carried 
through the assembly of the Centuries, and confirmed by the 
Curiae ; but the patricians watched for an opportunity to destroy 
the man whom they regarded as a traitor to his order, and the 
plebeians themselves were dissatisfied because the Latins were to 
have their fair share in the distribution of the land, according to the 
recent treaty. Cassius was succeeded in the consulship by Servius 
Cornelius and Quintus Fabius ; and another member of the Fabian 
house, which now begins to distinguish itself by its high patrician 
pohtics — Kseso Fabius, the consul's brother — was one of the two 
judges of capital crimes {qmEstores ^arricidii). These ofiicers 

* Throughout the whole duration of the Patrician Republic, any consul who favour- 
ed the people generally had as a colleague one of their violent enemies. 



could bring at once before the people any case in wliicli an appeal 
would lie from their judgment ; and thus Kseso arraigned Spurius 
Cassius before tlie Comitia Curiata on the charge of trying to 
make himself king. It might have been supposed that the deci- 
sion lay legally with the Comitia Centuriata; but the Curiae 
assumed the right of judging a fellow patrician; and Spm'ius 
Cassius was scourged and beheaded, and his house levelled with 
the ground. " There was some truth in the charge that he had 
usui-ped regal power, for he had endeavoured, like the kings, to 
protect the free commons against his own order. His law was 
buried along with him; but its spectre thenceforth incessantly 
haunted the eyes of the rich, and again and again it rose from the 
tomb against them, till the conflicts to which it led destroyed the 
commonwealth." * Meanwhile the triumph of the patricians is 
attested by the appearance of a Fabius as one of the consuls for 
seven successive years (b.c. 485 — 479). But the ascendancy of 
the Fabian house brought an unexpected aid to the popular cause. 
These seven years were a period of incessant war with the 
-^quians and the Yeientines, and of continual dissensions in the 
city. Successive tribunes attempted to protect citizens in the 
refusal to enlist ; and it is even said that the soldiers of the 
haughty Kseso Fabius, who was hated almost as bitterly as Appius 
Claudius, sufiered themselves to be defeated rather than follow 
him to victory. At length the valour of the Fabii in a battle 
against the Yeientines, followed by their kind treatment of the 
wounded soldiers, conciliated the people (b.c. 480) ; and, in the 
following year, Kseso himself proposed the execution of the Agra- . 
rian Law of Spurius Cassius. Scorned by their fellow patricians 
as recreants, the Fabii resolved to quit Eome in a body, with 
their clients, as the Claudii had left Kegillus a quarter of a 
century before. They established themselves on the little river 
Cremera, which runs into the Tiber from the Tuscan side, a few 
miles above Rome ; but within two years the whole colony, to the 
number of 300, were surprised and put to the sword by the 
Yeientines. One youth alone escaped, having been left behind at 
Rome, and became the ancestor of the Fabii who were so famous 
in after years (b.c. 474). In the next yeai', the Yeientines stormed 
the Janiculum, and two years later a truce was made between 
Rome and Yeii for forty years (b.c. 474).f 

* Mommsen, History of Rome, vol i. p. 289. 

f With characteristic falsification, the annalists represent the Yeientines, after all 
their successes, as suing for this peace. 


These disasters supplied the tribunes with grounds for attacks 
upon the patrician magistrates ; and the consuls of two successive 
years were impeached for permitting the massacre of the Fabii 
and the loss of the Janiculum, The precedent was next extended 
to political offences, and the consuls of b.c. 474 were impeached, 
on the expiration of their year of office, for their opposition to the 
demand of the tribunes for the execution of the Agrarian Law. 
Their accuser, the tribune Genucius, was found dead in his bed on 
the night before the trial. This violation of the sacred person of 
a tribune, the more odious because of the freedom of access to his 
house, was followed by other assassinations, which struck terror 
into the popular party, till the courage of a single man rallied the 
plebeians and raised the tribunes one great step in power. 

This man was Publilius Yolero, who, being chosen tribune, in con- 
sequence of his resistance to an arbitrary levy made by the consuls, 
proposed the celebrated "Publilian Law," that the tribunes of the 
plebs and the plebeian sediles should be elected by the plebeians 
themselves in the Comitia Tributa (b.c. 472). Every device was 
employed to postpone the Comitia of the Tribes, to whom the pro- 
posal was at first made as a plebiscitum. The patricians appeared 
in the Forum with their clients, and provoked personal conflicts 
with the plebeians, and a fatal epidemic helped to drive over the 
business to the following year. Both parties prepared for a deci- 
sive contest. The patricians chose for their consul Appius Clau- 
dius, the son of their old leader ; Yolero was re-elected tribune, 
with a still more bold and resolute colleague, Caius Lsetorias ; 
and the scope of the proposed resolution was enlarged. The day 
of meeting came. Appius Claudius declared that he would resist 
the voting by force ; Lgetorius vowed that he would carry the law 
before night, or lay down his life in the Forum. Appius kept his 
place, surrounded by his lictors, when Lsetorius called the tribes 
to vote, and bade all strangers to withdraw from the Forum. The 
tribune sent his officer to insist on the consul's departure ; and a 
fray ensued between the lictors and the multitude, in which the 
sacred person of Laetorius was severely wounded. The commons 
stormed the Capitol ; and for several days the citadel of Rome 
was held by them as by an enemy. At length the senate listened 
to the wiser advice of the more moderate consul, Titus Quinctius. 
They adopted the plebiscitum, and proposed it to the Comitia 
Curiata, whose sanction converted it into a law, which has been 
called the second great charter of Roman liberties, Some say that 
the number of the tribunes was now first raised to five. Be this 


as it may, five plebeian tribunes were elected by the assembly of 
the tribes in the following year (b.c. 470). Their names are 
preserved ; and the absence of that of Lsetorius from the list has 
been thought to imply that he died, as he had said, from the 
wounds he received in the Forum. JSTor was Appius Claudius 
suffered to escape punishment. His army refused to fight, when 
he led them against the Yolscians ; and the stem consul inflicted 
on them that terrible penalty of decimation,^ which has since 
passed into a proverbial expression. For this act of severity, and 
for his lawless conduct in his consulship, he was impeached by 
two of the new tribunes, and only avoided a certain condemnation 
by suicide. Another account, howevei*, says that he died of 
sickness (b.c. 470). 

"We know in fact that Eome suffered terribly about this time 
from the ravages of pestilence, which in one year carried oft" both 
the consuls, two of the four augurs, and the Curio Maximus (the 
head of the curiae) ; and the only magistrates left were the ple- 
beian sediles, who carried on the government under the control 
of senatorial interreges (b.c. 463). All the accession of political 
power gained by the tribunes had been of little material help to 
the plebeians, who were again overwhelmed with distress and 
debt. Their most substantial relief was from the foundation of a 
colony at the important port of Antium, on the coast of Latium, 
which was taken from the Yolscians (b.c. 468), and by the divi- 
sion of its lands among the colonists. At length the demands of 
the commons rose to a complete reform of the existing order of 
the commonwealth ; and, in b.c. 462, the tribune, C. Terentillus, 
proposed a law for the restraining of the powers of the consuls, 
and for the appointment of ten commissioners, f chosen equally 
from both orders, to draw up a new code of laws. This proposal 
contained the first germ of the decemviral legislation, which was 
carried into eflfect as a compromise after a violent conflict for 
eight years (b.c. 462 — 454). The plebeians elected the same tri- 
bunes for five successive years. The younger patricians organized 
clubs for the perpetration of every kind of violence ; and among 
these, Kseso Quinctius, the son of the celebrated Cincinnatus, 
brought upon himself an impeachment by the tribune, Aulus Yir- 

* That is, the choice of every tenth man, by lot or otherwise, for execution. The 
moral effect of this punishment may be said to be increased tenfold by the fear of every 
man that the choice may fall on him, 

f Decemviri. It was the custom of the Komans to name colleges or committees, 
whether permanent or special, by the number of their members. The celebrated political 
triumvirates were an ironical applicationof this nomenclature. 


girdus (b,c. 461). Kaeso fled into Etruria before tlie day of his 
trial. A conspiracy was formed for effecting liis return ; and in 
the following year a band of exiles and slaves, led by a Sabine, 
named Appiiis Herdonius, sm-prised the Capitol by night, and 
kept possession of it in arms, demanding the restoration of all 
political exiles. The consular power was, as usual, divided be- 
tween an eager partisan of the patricians and a favourer of the 
people, an Appius Claudius and a Yalerius Pophcola. The latter 
led the allied forces of the Latins and Hernicans to the assault of 
the Capitol. The consul was killed, but the post was carried, and 
the insurgents were put to the sword or afterwards executed. 
Kjeso Quinctius, who is not expressly mentioned, seems to have 
fallen in the conflict. But the patricians proved their unyielding 
obstinacy by electing in the place of Yalerius the father of the 
rebel Kseso, the stern L. Quinctius Cincinnatus, who was as con- 
spicuous for his enmity to the commons as for the rej)ublican 
simplicity which has shed a lustre upon his name. The annalists 
ascribe to him a scheme for obtaining the revocation of all the 
popular measm-es by summoning the army, in vu-tue of their 
military oath, to meet him at the Lake RegiUus, where the pro- 
tection of the tribunes would have been of no force against the 
consular i'/nperium. The worst scenes of civil conflict that dis- 
graced the Greek republics were enacted at Rome, which seemed 
given over to internal war. There is even a tradition, though 
scarcely clear enough to be recorded as a fact, that nme eminent 
men of the popular party were burnt alive in the Circus Maximus ; 
such being the punishment provided by an old law for the worst 
traitors. The state seems only to have been saved from anarchy 
by the moderating influence of the senate, and the pressure of 
foreign war. 

For the ^quians and Yolscians were again bearing hard upon 
Latium. The citadel of Tusculum, which had been sm-prised by 
the former, was indeed recovered, but Antium was retaken and 
held by the latter (b.c. 459). A brief truce with the ^quians 
was followed by the war which is illustrated by the celebrated 
legend of Cincinnatus. In the year e.g. 458, the consul L. Minu- 
cius had suffered himself to be surrounded by the enemy in a defile 
of Mount Algidus.* Five knights escaped from the army, and 
brought the news of its danger to Eome. The consul, C. jS'autius, 
summoned the senate, and it was resolved that L. Quinctius Cincin- 

* This range, which lay between Prseneste and the Alban hill, was a s^ort of advanced 
post of the ^quians in their wars with Rome. 


natus should be named dictator. Thougli sharing, as we have 
seen, the strongest prejudices of his order against the plebeians, 
Cincinnatus was one of a class of patricians which did not die out 
for many generations, who, amidst the growth of wealth and 
avarice, preserved the simple frugal life of the olden times, when 
each burgess had his modest share of the naiTOW territory of the 

"Hunc et incomptis Curium capillis 
Utilem bello tulit et Camillum 
Saeva paupertas et avitus apto 
Cum lare fundus." 

He lived on his little farm of four jugera beyond the Tiber, 
which he cultivated with his o.wn hands.* When summoned to 
assume the consulship two years before, he had said to his wife, 
" I fear, Racilia, our little field must remain this year unsown ; " 
and now he was found by the deputies of the Senate digging in the 
field, with his toga laid aside on the ground. They bade him put 
on his dress to receive the message of the Senate in a fitting manner, 
and hailed him as Master of the People, to deliver the consul and 
his army from the ambush of the JEquians. Having appointed for 
his master of the horse L. Tarquitius Flaccus, a citizen poor and 
frugal as himself, who had not the census of a knight, Cincinnatus 
summoned all the people to the Forum, and ordered the shops to 
be shut and all business to be suspended, till the consul and his 
army should be rescued. He summoned every man of military age 
to meet him in the Campus Martins before sunset, each provided 
with rations for five days, and twelve stakes.f The old men pre- 
pared the food, while the soldiers cut the stakes where they pleased ; 
and before midnight the dictator and his levy had reached Mount 
Algidus. Having reconnoitred the enemy's position, Cincinnatus 
ordered his soldiers to lay down their baggage, and to surround 
the hostile camp with a ditch and the palisade he had provided. 
They began their work with a shout that announced then* presence 
to the consul and his army, who forthwith made an attack which 
occupied the -^quians all the night, and allowed them no leisure 
to turn against the new enemy. So they found themselves in the 

* Four j^igera is about 2-J- acres. The farm was probably in the suburb of Janicu- 
lum, as Rome had not yet recovered her territory beyond the Tiber. The cognomen of 
Cincinnatus is said to have been derived from his crisp curling locks (cincinni). 

f Three or four stakes for the palisade of the camp formed a regular part of the load 
which a Roman soldier carried on the march ; but these were designed for a special 

VOL. II. — 16 


morning hemmed in between two Roman armies, and had no 
resource but to surrender at discretion. Cincinnatus made them 
all pass beneath the yoke, as the symbol of subjection ; * and led 
the ^quian general Gracchus, and his chief officers, in triumph 
back to Rome, which he had left within twenty-four hours, fol- 
lowed by the consul's army, to whom he allowed no share of the 
spoil. The poetic beauty of the story is somewhat marred by its 
sequel. Cincinnatus did not lay down his office till he had avenged 
his son Kjeso by the condemnation and banishment of the chief 
witness against him on a charge of perjury. But he made no 
further political use of his power ; and he retired to his farm, after 
holding the dictatorship for only sixteen days. 

The connection of this family legend of the Quinctii with the 
real history of the JEquian and Yolscian wars is admirably described 
by Dr. Arnold : — " In such a warfare as that of the Romans with 
the JSquians and Yolscians, there are ahvays sufficient alternations 
of success to furnish the annalists on either side with matter of 
triumph ; and by exaggerating every victory, and omitting or 
slightly noticing every defeat, they form a picture such as national 
vanity most delights in. But we neither can, nor need we desire, 
to correct and supply the omissions of the details of the Roman 
historians: it is enough to say that, at the close of the third 
century of Rome, the warfare which the Romans had to maintain 
against the Opican nations was generally defensive; that the 
^quians and Volscians had advanced froiji the line of the Apen- 
nines, and established themselves on the Alban hills in the heart 
of Latium : that of the thirty Latin states, which had formed the 
league with Rome (in e.g. 493), thirteen Avere now either destroyed 
or were in the possession of the Opicans : that on the Alban hills 
themselves Tusculum alone remained independent ; and that there 
was no other friendly city to obstruct the irruptions of the enemy 
into the territory of Rome. Accordingly, that territory was plun- 
dered year after year, and, whatever defeats the plunderers may at 
times have sustained, yet they were never deterred from renewing 
a contest which they found in the main profitable and glorious. 
So greatly had the power and dominion of Rome fallen since the 
overthrow of the monarchy." f 

So little was the victory of Cincinnatus decisive, that in the 

* The yoke, formed of two spears set upright and one across, was an imitation of the 
instrament which served draught cattle for a collar, and which may still be seen where 
oxen are used for ploughing. 

f History of Rome, vol. i. pp. 208, 209. 


very next year we find the ^quians joining with the Sabines to 
ravage the rich territory between the Tiber and the Anio. These 
wars, and the continuance of the pestilence at Rome, had the 
effect of still postponing the Terentilian law. Meanwhile, the 
popular party aimed at other objects. The number of the tribunes, 
already enlarged to five, was now doubled ; a worse than doubtful 
benefit, as it increased the chance that one of so large a number 
might become the tool of the patricians (b.c. 457). A far greater 
gain was effected by the law of the tribune Icilius, assigning the 
Aventine as a residence for the Plebeians. The surface of the 
hill was parcelled out among them into building sites ; and its 
steep sides made it capable of defence (b.c. 456). Lest this law 
should be obstructed in its passage, like the Terentilian, by the 
disorderly interruptions of the patricians and their clients, it was 
not proposed in the Comitia Tributa, but laid as a petition before 
the Senate by the tribune, who demanded to be heard in its behalf; 
and thus the tribunes gained indirectly what amounted to the 
privilege of initiating measures in the Senate. That body adopted 
the law as a compromise : it passed the assembly of the centuries ; 
it was confirmed with solemn oaths in the presence of the Pon- 
tiffs, and was inscribed on a brass pillar in the temple of Diana 
on the Aventine. Still the Terentilian law was pressed on by the 
tribunes, who were re-elected for the fifth time, and as resolutely 
opposed by the patricians. At length, in the three-hundredth 
year of the city, an agreement was effected under the auspices of 
the consuls, who were both of the moderate party. A commission 
of three {triumviri) was sent to Greece, then in the height of her 
glory, in the interval between the Persian and the Peloponnesian 
Wars, to inquire into the Greek laws, especially those of Solon, 
and to report which of them seemed likely to be advantageous to 
the state (b.c. 454). It was during the year of their absence that 
the pestilence, under which Rome had long suffered more or less, 
broke out with the frightful violence already noticed, aggravated 
by a famine (b.c. 453). The city would seem to have lain at the 
mercy of her enemies, had they not suffered equally by the same 
plague, which may be regarded as a wave of that mysterious 
disease which desolated Athens twenty-three yeai-s later.* The 
exhaustion caused by it seems to have checked the attacks of the 
enemies of Rome for several years. 

In the following year, the pestilence abated ; the commissioners 
returned from Greece ; both parties agreed to appoint a Committee 

* See Vol. I., pp. 498—500. 


of Ten* \dtli full power, not only to draw up new laws, but to 
administer the whole government of the republic, both civil and 
militarv, till the new code should come into force. Meanwhile, 
all the ordinary magistracies were to be suspended, including not 
only the consulate, but the tribuneship.f The patricians insisted 
that all the Ten should be of their own body, and, after a severe 
struggle, the plebeians were compelled to yield the point.:*: They 
seem to have relied on the understanding, that the new legislation 
was to be a thoroughly healing measure, framed to establish, for 
ever, equal justice to both orders ; and, strange as it appears in 
the light of the past and of the future, they reposed full confidence 
in Appius Claudius, who, as consul elect, was to be, with his col- 
league Titus Genucius, at the head of the college. For this 
Appius Claudius, the son and grandson of the Claudii who have 
already figured in the annals of the republic, had professed to 
espouse the cause of the people. Three members more were fur- 
nished (as Xiebuhr supposes) § by the "Warden of the City and 
the Quasstores Parricidii ; and the other five were elected by the 
Comitia of the Centuries (b.c. 452). 

With the new year, the consuls elect went through the form of 
abdicating: their office, and the Decemvibs entered on their un- 
bounded power, limited only by the obKgation of laying it down 
at the expiration of the year. The administrative government was 
vested, just as during an Interregnum, in each member of the 
college for a day. But it was soon found that Appius Claudius, 
from the prestige of his great name, from his determined will, 
and from his great popularity, eclipsed his colleagues, and wielded 
a power little short of regal. ]^or did he at first belie the confi- 
dence of the people. He seems to have possessed one o^* those 
ardent and self-willed natures which apply their force admirably 
to a worthy object, and then, in the pride of success, expecting to 

* Their full title was Decern Viri consulari potestate leffUms scribundis. 

f Such is the statement of Livy and Dionvsius ; bnt Xiebuhr doubts its truth respect- 
ing the tribunate, which, howerer, he admits to haTe been suspended under the second 

% This statanent describes the actual fact with reference to the first decemvirs, 
not the essential nature of the office. That the " decemvirate with consular power," like 
the subsequent "military tribunate with consular power," was legally open to both 
orders, is argued by Dr. Mommsen, both on other grounds and decisively from the 
names of five of the members of the second dec€mviral college, who imquestionably 
belonged to plebeian gerdt£&. 

§ He regards the first decemvirs as the decern prhni of the Senate ; but the second as 
a representative college resembling, and probably framed in direct imitation of, the 
Attic Archons, as a result of the commission sent to Greece. 


command all aroimd them, are shipvirecked upon their o\\ti selfish 
desires. While the Decemvirs were engaged in their great work 
of legislation, and moved with the desire of reconciling all parties, 
their government was moderate and just. 

Meanwhile their special work made rapid progress. Their study 
of the Greek laws was aided bv an Ionian sophist, Hermodorus of 
Ephesus, whose services were commemorated bv the erection of 
his statue in the Comitium. By the end of the year, they had 
prepared and laid before the people a complete code of laws, 
which were engraved upon ten tables of brass, and affixed to the 
rostra in front of the senate-house. The very number of these 
tables, corresponding to the number of the Decemvirs — a nimiber 
so familiar to the Latins — furnishes a decisive confirmation of 
what we might assume from all the circumstances, that the Ten 
Tables were designed for a complete code. The statement that the 
Decem viral office was prolonged for another year, in order that the 
code might be made more complete, is the more suspicious from 
the fact that, with the exception of Appius Claudius, the two lists 
of Decemvirs were composed of diiferent persons. It is one of 
those bold conjectures, which were the finiit of Kiebuhr's almost 
intuitive sagacity, that the decemvirate was meant to be a perma- 
nent committee of government, in place of the old magistracies. 
It seems unquestionably to have been the object of the new legis- 
lation to substitute the safeguard of written law for the irregular 
protection which had been affijrded by the tribunitian power, at 
the cost almost of a chronic ci^il war. " Beyond doubt,"' says 
Dr. Mommsen, " when the plebeians desired a written code, the 
patricians replied that in that event the legal protection of tribunes 
would be superfluous.'' But it is scarcely probable that the ple- 
beians would have surrendered the tribuneship, trusting to the 
letter of a law the administration of which was left to the patrician 
magistrates ; and the equal division of the second decemvirate 
among the patrician and plebeian members looks like a permanent 
compromise between the orders, an idea which seems to be carried 
out in the whole constitution of the college. "We learn from 
Dionysius that six of the Ten were military tribunes, three patri- 
cian and three plebeian ; and these were commanders in war. Of 
the remaining four, Xiebuhr regards two as invested with censorial 
power and with that of the Warden of the City, combined with 
the presidency of the Senate, while the other two had the authority 
of quaestors : there being one patrician and one plebeian in each of 
these two pairs. I^iebuhr also states that "' the second election was 


quite different from the first, the noblest, like the lowest patricians, 
canvassing for the votes of the plebeians (canvassing here appears 
for the first time), so that the election was perfectly free." 

Be this as it may, the Decemvirate was renewed for the year B.C. 
450, and two more tables were added to the ten former, thus com- 
pleting the celebrated Laws of the Tw^elve Tables, the founda- 
tion of the majestic system of Eoman jurisprudence.* Appius 
Claudius was the only member re-elected of the former college. 
The common story ascribes this distinction to his favour with the 
people, which excited the jealousy of the patricians, the most 
eminent of whom, including Cincinnatus and another Quinctius, 
were themselves candidates for the office. The Senate appointed 
Appius to preside at the new elections, as an indirect mode of 
disqualification ; but he scrupled not to receive votes for himself, 
and was again invested with an almost despotic power. The history 
of the second Decemvirate is one of the points most obscured by 
the character of the sources from which it comes. They are com- 
monly said to have abused their power and ruled tyrannically, and 
all the complaints against the decemviral legislation refer to the 
two last tables. But when Cicero, for example, calls these laws 
unjust, he is speaking on behalf of the aristocratic party. Of the 
laws themselves we know too little to decide upon their real ten- 
dency ; but they seem to have embodied in a written form the 
existing mass of customary law, with scarcely any material altera- 
tions. They were in fact a compromise between the two orders, 
based on the existing rights of both. Even the laws against insol- 
vent debtors seem to have been left in force, though a maximum of 
legal interest was fixed (probably ten per cent.), and severer penal- 
ties were enacted for usury than for theft. The distinction between 
the orders was still perpetuated by the prohibition of intermarriage. 
The right of appeal to the Comitia Centuriata w^as guaranteed; but 
the exclusion of any appeal to the Coinitia Tributa is one of the 
indications of a design to perpetuate the suspension of the tribunate 
itself. The great point gained was not in the contents of the Tables 
so much as in their very existence and publication, as a code the 
rules of which all magistrates must henceforth observe in their 
administration of the law, in the presence of a pubhc who knew 
its contents as well as themselves. The question still remained — 
most critical at the time, and very difficult for the historian — 
what those magistrates were to be. 

* It is curious to observe, in the numbers of the Tables, another example of the 
conflict between the decimal and duodecimal systems of notation. 



Thus mucli is clear, that, when the year expired, and it only 
remained for the Decemvirs to promulgate the laws, and to conduct 
the election of their successors (whoever those successors might be) 
they refused to make the demission of their office, and were driven 
from power by an insurrection, provoked by the outrageous inso- 
lence of Appius Claudius. The old annalists represent the tyranny 
of the decemvirs as another instance of aristocratic misrule, and 
the popular professions of Appius as affectation from the first. 
But there is another view, which furnishes a better explanation of 
his whole conduct, while it is more consistent with the fact that 
half the college were plebeians. Invested with a new power, before 
which the old magistracies had given place, and surroimded by 
insignificant or obsequious colleagues, Appius may have aspired to 
royal power, leaning on the support of the plebeians ; but, unable 
to control his passions, he outraged those who should have sup- 
ported him against the opposition of the nobles, and so fell before 
a rebellion of both orders. In this case we could easily understand 
the sudden revival of the old officers, from whose antagonism an 
escape had been sought in the decemvirate ; for, when tliis new 
device of government feU before the indignation of both parties, the 
plebs would once more claim the tribunate, as a check on the re- 
established consulship. That the poetic legend of the fall of the De- 
cemvirs recognizes only the wrongs and the resistance of one party, 
is a simple consequence of its being one of the plebeian lays. 

We know, in fact, that there was a party in the Senate headed 
by the old liberal houses of the Yalerii and the Horatii — which 
demanded the abdication of the decemvirs. The question seems to 
have been postponed by a new outbreak of war ; and the decemvirs 
were permitted to levy two armies against the Sabines and the Yol- 
scians. In the former army there was a centurion who had been a 
tribune of the plebs, L. Sicinius Dentatus. He had fought in more 
than a hundred battles, and had eight times slain an enemy in 
single combat. His valour was attested, above the many crowns 
he had won, by forty-five wounds, all of them in front. But his 
opposition to the patricians in his tribunate, and his supposed 
enmity to the decemvirs, brought upon him a treacherous death. 
It was given out that he had fallen in an ambush of the enemy. 
Such a man would sell his life dear ; but the slain Romans who 
were found about his corpse betrayed the manner of his death. His 
pompous funeral had soothed, without satisfying, the agitation of 
the one army, when a new outrage drove both to open mutiny. It 
is needless to relate, for the hundredth time, the story of Yirginia, 


/d byhimwiio sang how thede- 
nairl: _ - lia rlmg daughter b^cae the meraliKB 

IbIh;^ - "^""' '^^ the lictocs had hmied back the 

mwai knife fivMU Ihe fli^ier''s block, 

md -- ' farewdl : — 

.'.Te Me one m 

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zteasn. <»der, they :h in military 

TliK seeox "" as as deciave 

?fjT? : + ilie plebeian 


L^sisted oa the 

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T -^ 1:'~..~ zreed that the old 

-enaon of the 

li magistrates. 

- I. ed tin the end 

' - , Appius 



" iLtJiJe. YaleriiB 

: Ccy,m.5, instead 

7 : jn of the 

Tiie first of 

^ - ^ . - u the Comitia 

udmg on the wfa(^e pec^le, pro- 

' e and the AESomblies of the 

li -vrhidi became more and 

acted by the FublQian 

J ' -7 _ 7 7. 2?7. The second 

--Id not tasmpt 
. a-nlaj, on tbe 


revived the right of appeal to the Comitia Centnriata, established 
by Yalerius Poplicola, and afterwards confirmed hj M. Yalerius, 

the consul of b.c. 300, and made the pledge to observe it a condition 
of the election of future magistrates, including even the dictator. 
The frequent re-enactments of these ftmdamental securities for the 
liberties of the plebeians have been -vrell compared to the repeated 
confirmation of Magna Charta bv the Plantagenets. 

The third of these laws renewed most solemnly the personal 
inviolability of the tribunes and the plebeian asdiles, and of certain 
officers, of whom we now first hear, the judices and decera^:iri^ 
ministers (it would seem) of the jurisdiction of the tribunes. 
All offenders against the second and third laws were to be 
regarded as outlaws, who might be MUed with unpunity. A vital 
addition was made to the influence of the tribunes by giving them 
a deliberate voice in the Senate, though without a vote. The 
dignity of the order would not indeed suffer them to take their 
seats with its members ; so a bench was placed for them at the 
door ; but this very distinction must have marked all the more 
clearly their formidable presence. With this footing in the 
Senate, added to their right of speech in the Comitia Centuriata, 
and their sway in the Comitia Tributa, they gradually acquired 
the privilege of arresting the action of every part of the state by 
their veto (intercessio), by which the acts of the dictator alone 
could not be cancelled. They retained the judicial power of 
driving their enemies out of the pale of the constitution by the 
infliction of fines, their sentences being confirmed by the Comitia 
Tributa, which was virtually the assembly of the plebeians. The 
laws of the decemvirs had indeed caused the patricians and their 
clients to be enrolled among the Servian tribes (if they were not 
so before), but without materially affecting the predominance of 
the plebeians in the assembly, where the mode of voting gave no 
advantage to rank or wealth. 

The ill-will left by the recent contest was manifested in the way 
in which the state settled down to its ordinary working under the 
new laws. The march of the armies back to Eome to overthrow 
the decemvirs had left the war to be carried on by the Latin and 
Hemican allies; but now the popular consuls held a levy, and 
the people willingly followed them to the field. They returned 
victorious to the Campus Martins, where they waited, as the law 
required, to enter the city in triumph. But when the jealousy of 
the Senate withheld the necessary decree, the tribune Icilius con- 
vened the people in their tribes, and carried a vote for the triumph, 


which the Senate dared not but confirm. The next step was to 
take vengeance upon the decemvirs. Appius Claudius was 
impeached by Virginius, and- thrown into prison, where he put 
an end to his own life. His fate was shared by his friend and 
chief supporter, Spurius Oppius, one of the plebeian decemvirs.* 
The other eight were suffered to go into exile ; and it became the 
custom to allow political offenders (except in exti*eme cases) this 
means of escaping the extreme capital penalty, before sentence 
was actually pronounced. An attempt to continue the same con- 
suls and tribunes in office was checked, like the further prosecution 
of the decemvirs, by the moderation of the tribune M. Duillius 
and of the consuls, who declined the proposed honour. Thus 
ended this memorable year, in which the plebeian opposition was 
finally organized, with powers which went on growing, till scarcely 
any other check upon them remained to the nobles, but the device 
of securing tools among the tribunes themselves, or the use of 
open violence. The failure of the compromise attempted in the 
decemvirate had already sown the seeds of civil war and anarchy 
in the constitution. 

From this moment the equalization of the orders became but a 
question of time, and the plebeians lent all their increased strength 
to its achievement. It appears that the plebeian nobility, whose 
interests had united them to the patricians during the social con- 
flict between rich and poor, now saw that the full establishment 
of the tribunate gave them a means of obtaining political equality. 
So the united strength of the order was directed against the two 
distinctive patrician privileges, exclusive intermarriage, and exclu- 
sive tenure of the higher magistracies. Though powerless against 
such an union, the patricians only submitted after a third seces- 
sion, — this time to M. Janiculus. The tribune Canuleius had 
proposed two votes in the Comitia Tributa for granting the 
connuhium and a share in the consulship to the plebeians. The 
first became a law by the sanction of the Senate and the people ; 
but on the second a compromise was effected. The patricians 
objected to admit the plebeians to the consulship, an office invested 
not only with the tradition of the regal dignity, but with the 
sanctity of the patrician religion. For any but patricians to take 
the auspices and offer sacrifices was held to be j)ositive desecra- 
tion.f As a device therefore for sharing the chief magistracy 

* Another account is that Oppius was impeached by the tribune Numitorius, found 
guilty, and executed. 

f Another reason has been sought in their unwillingness to give up ihe jus imagi- 


between tlie orders, they reverted to the military organization of 
the state, in which every citizen liable to serve, whether patrician 
or plebeian, might rise to the rank of Military Tribune,, or chief 
officer of the legion.* This, then, was the name adopted for the 
new chief magistrates, who, with the power of the consuls, received 
only, as Dr. Mommsen puts it, "the status of a simple staff- 
officer." They were called MiLirAEY Tribunes with Consular 
PowEK.f It is supposed that the intention was, that they should 
be six in number, like the military tribunes in each legion, and 
that they should be chosen equally from the patricians and the 
plebeians. But the actual number was sometimes three,, some- 
times ybz«', and sometimes six', numbers which prevailed respec- 
tively in the early, the middle, and the latter part of the duration 
of the office, which lasted at intervals to the taking of the city by 
the Gauls (b.c. 360). We say, at intervals, for it was left to the 
decision of the people in each year, whether they would liave 
consuls or military tribunes. In the very first year (b.c. 4M), 
the election of three military tribunes was annulled by a defect in 
the auspices, and they were replaced by consuls ; and it is not 
till eight years later (b.c. 438), that we again find three mili- 
tary tribunes in office. These irregularities are, in fact, the indi- 
cation of a conflict, annually renewed, between the plebeians and 
the old nobility, who tried every expedient to defeat the compro- 
mise they had made. Such, too, was their influence in the Comitia, 
that it was not till b.c. 400 that any plebeians were actually elected 
as military tribunes. Not content with this policy of wearing out 
the opposite party, they devised a scheme for depriving the mili- 
tary tribunes of a most important part of the power of the con- 
sular office. The revision of the lists of citizens, which had 
hitherto been made by the consuls every fom*th year, was now 
committed to two new magistrates, whose title became famous 
in after years, the Censors {censor es, i.e. valuers). X They were 

num., which belonged only to those who had held curule offices. A triumph was never 
granted to a miUtary tribune. 

* There were six military tribunes {tribuni miliium) to each legion, appointed by 
the commander-in-chief, that is, at first the king, afterwards the consul or dictator. 
With reference to the fullest complement of the legion, each military tribime may be 
regarded roughly as the commander of 1000 men, the centurions (the next grade 
below them) being commanders of 100. 

f TVibuni Militum. cum Constdari Potestate. 

X The censors were first elected in B.C. 443. Their chief functions have been men- 
tioned incidentally at pp. 201 and 227. Niebuhr thinks that they were originally 
elected by the Curite. 


chosen exclusively from tlie patricians by tli6 Comitia Centnriata. 
They seem to hare been appointed originally for a lustrum (five 
years), a sacred period in the Roman religion ; but their tenure of 
office was soon limited to eighteen months, the election still taking 
place every five years. The censors ranked in dignity above all 
other magistrates, except the dictator, and the office formed the 
great stronghold of the aristocracy; though that supervision of 
the morals and reputation of the citizens, which has given to the 
word censorship its peculiar meaning, was only gradually acquired 
in the course of time. The attempts which seem also to have been 
made to bring the finances under the more direct control of the 
patricians, by transferring the appointment of the quaestores from 
the consul to the Comitia Centuriata, ended in a popular victory, 
which secured the election of those officers for the Comitia Tri- 
buta. They were still, however, chosen from the patricians, till 
B.C. 421, when the office was thrown open to the plebeians, and 
formed for them a new path to the senate. 

The patricians did not scruple to conduct the conffict by acts of 
downright violence, which proved that they wanted only the 
power, not the will, to effect a counter-revolution. The most 
striking case is that of Spurius Mselius, a wealthy knight, who, in a 
great famine (b.c. 439), employed his own resources to supply the 
poor with corn at a price much lower than the state distribution.* 
He was accused by the patricians of aspiring to royalty ; and the 
aged Cincinnatus, who was appointed dictator to quell the popular 
agitation, summoned Mselius before his tribunal. Knowing the 
fate in store for him, Mselius refused to obey, and C. Servilius 
Ahala, the master of the horse, killed him on the spot. The party 
of the Optimates, including Cicero, always speak of this as a great 
act of courageous justice. But the popular party at the time re- 
garded the deed as a murder, and Ahala found it necessary to evade 
their indignation by voluntary exile (b.c. 439). 

It is time to turn from these internal conflicts to the foreign 
relations of Kome, which are summed up in two series of wars ; 
on the one hand with the Yolscians and ^quians, on the other 
with the Etruscans. Of the latter we shall speak presently. The 
former enemies were kept at bay with the aid of the Latin and 
Hernican allies; but so systematic was the falsification of the 
annals ; that the very years in which we read of triumphs may have 
been signalized by defeats. The most famous campaign was that 
of the year b.c. 431, when the combined power of the enemy was 

* This waa called annona, and was made by an officer named Prcefectus Annonce. 


broken in the decisive victory of Mount Algidus. It was on this 
occasion that the dictator, Aulus Postumius, gave an example of 
the stern Roman discipline, by putting his own son to death for 
engaging the enemy against his orders, though he had gained the 
victory ; an example followed in the more famous case of Titus 
Manlius Torquatns, nearly a hundred years later. We read of 
other great victories over the -^quians in e.g. 418 and b.c. 414, in 
the first of which years the town of Lavici, in the second that of 
Bola, were taken and colonized. On the latter occasion another 
of the Postuniii fell a victim to a mihtary insubordination as con- 
spicuous as it was rare. An agrarian law was proposed, for the 
division of the lands of Lavici and Bola; and M. Postumius 
Regillensis, one of the military tribunes of the year, threatened to 
use his imperium to punish any of his soldiers who supported the 
proposal. But when he backed this threat by refusing them their 
share in the plunder of Bola, the army rose in mutiny and stoned 
him to death. The only advantage of this outrage was gained by 
the reactionary party. For all but two years out of the last 
thirteen (e.g. 426 — 414) the chief magistrates had been military 
tribunes ; but consuls were appointed for the five succeeding 
years. A defeat by the Yolscians, which the Poman annals 
confess, in e.g. 407, and their recapture of Anxur (Terracina) at 
the time when the Pomans were engaged in the siege of Yeii 
(e.g. 402), prove that they were still formidable enemies ; but 
their power was already waning before that of the kindi*ed 
Samnites, who fill so large a space in the history of the next 
century. They had taken the city of Vultumum, in Campania, in 
E.G. 423, and were now hemming in the old Opican races on the 
side of the Apennines. Notice should here be taken also of the 
progress made by the native Italians at the expense of the Greek 
colonies, the oldest of which, Cumge, having resisted several 
attacks from the Etruscans, was taken by the Campanians in 
B.C. 420. The Yolsci reappear after the taking of Pome by the 
Gauls, and were not finally subdued till the conquest of Latium in 
the great Latin war (e.g. 338). 

On the side of Etruria, we have already seen that the great 
enemy of Pome was the powerful city of Yeh, the territory of 
which embraced most of the plain of Southern Etruria, from the 
right bank of the Tiber (as far as its mouth) to the great Cimi- 
nian Forest, which divided it from the hill country. The Poman' 
annalists have not noticed the very interesting coincidences of the 
wars between the Pomans and Etruscans with the blows that the 


latter people sustained from tlie Greeks. As allies of the Cartha- 
ginians, the Etruscans bore an indirect 3)art in the great attempt 
of Xerxes against the liberties of Greece ; and their share in the 
defeat of the Carthaginians by Gelo at Himera was followed by 
the war with Eome, which ended in the disaster of the Fabii (b.c. 
480 — 4:77). This war was concluded by a truce with Veii for four 
hundred months, that is, forty years of the ancient standard of ten 
lunar months, preserved as a sacred mode of computing a treaty. 
The Roman annalists make the statement, which seems incon- 
sistent with the j)revious disasters of the war, that the Veientines 
gave up Fidense, the city which we have seen as their constant 
ally and tete-de-pont on the bank of the Tiber, about six miles 
above Rome ; and they connect the renewal of the war, at the 
expiration of the truce, with a new revolt of Fidenae (b.c. 438).* 
They tell us how the Yeientine king, Lars Tolumnius, led the 
forces of several Etruscan states to the support of Fidense ; how 
the dictator, Mamercus ^milius, with L. Quinctius Cincinnatus 
for his master of the horse, conquered the Yeientines and retook 
Fidenae ; and how the military tribune, Aulus Cornelius Cossus, 
slew Lars Tolumnius with his own hand, and dedicated the sjpolia 
opima in the Capitol (b.c. 437), an honour only obtained before 
him by Romulus, and after him by M. Yalerius Corvus.f But 
the war was not ended; for only two years later, the dictator 
Q. Servilius Priscus obtained the sm'name of the Fidenatian 
{Fidenas) by the capture of the city, which was colonized afresh, 
but only to be the scene of a new revolt nine years later, when the 
murder of the Roman colonists was avenged by the total destruc- 
tion of Fidense, in the third dictatorship of Mamercus ^milius.:{: 
The Etruscan inhabitants were sold for slaves, and the Romans 
finally obtained the important territoiy on their own side of the 
Tiber, which had been contested since the time of Romulus and 
Hostilius (b.c. 426). A truce was again concluded with Yeii for 
twenty years, or two himdred months (b.c. 425). 

At the expiration of this truce, the Romans, who had just 
retrieved a defeat sustained from the Yolscians in the preceding 
year, by the capture of Anxur (Terracina), declared war against the 
Yeientines. This renewal of the war coincides with another 

* The running out of these truces to their term contrasts strongly with what we have 
•seen among the Greeks, and speaks well for the good faith of the Etruscans. 

f Corvus won his spolia opima in B.C. 349. 

\ In his second dictatorship he had limited the tenure of office by the censors to 
eighteen months. 


ciitieal epoch in the relations between the Etruscans and the 
Greeks. To the injuries inflicted on the Sicilian cities by Tyrrhe- 
nian corsairs and by their league with the Carthaginians, had been 
added the mortal offence of the aid given to the Athenians in their 
expedition against Syracuse. When Dionysius obtained the 
tyranny (b.c. 406) he made it his settled policy to supplant the 
colonial empire of the Etruscans in the Adriatic, and before long 
he began attacks on the coast of Etruria itself. At the same time 
the Gauls were threatening the country from the North. When, 
therefore, the Yeientines appealed to the confederacy for aid, a 
solemn meeting held at the temple of Yoltumna resolved to leave 
them to their own resources ; and a war began, which could only 
be ended in the destruction of Rome or Yeii. The contest was not 
so unequal as it might appear, for the Latin allies of Rome seem 
to have been too much occupied with the Volscians and ^quians 
to have been willing to cross the Tiber. The history of this great 
conflict, the first in which Rome contended for supremacy with a 
city as powerful as herself, is obscured, as much as its picturesque 
interest is increased, by the romantic details engrafted on it by 
the Roman poets. War was declared against Yeii in b.c. 406, 
the epoch at which the Roman soldiers first received regular pay 
by a degree of the Senate. The siege of Yeii, which lasted the 
same time as that of Troy, was formed in b.c. 405 ; and the fol- 
lowing year is memorable for the first solar eclipse recorded in the 
annals of the Roman Pontiffs. 

YEn, one of the most ancient, and apparently the largest of the 
twelve confederated Etruscan cities, stood on the river Cremera, 
about twelve miles from Rome, in the midst of beautiful glens, 
which break the table-land of the Campagna. Dionysius states that 
it was equal in size to Athens ; and its ruins prove its circumference 
to have been about seven miles. Its strong citadel was perched 
on a hill, the precipices of which sink down to the surromiding 
ravines on all sides, except where a narrow ridge united it to the 
city. Its magnificence, and the advantages of its site, are attested 
by the desire formed by the Romans to transfer their abode to it 
after the destruction of their own city by the Gauls, a design 
from which they were only turned aside by the persuasions of 
Camillus. Wliether from the superiority of the Romans in the 
field, or from deliberate policy, the Yeientines from the first shut 
themselves up in their city. The progress of the siege seems to 
have depended greatly on the alternations of success and failure 
in the Yolscian war, and, among other calamities which protracted 


it, may be reckoned the great pestilence of b. c. 399, whicli gave 
tlie first occasion for the form of supplication called lectistemium 
(the covering of couches). The investment of the city seems to 
have been formed like that of Plata^a by the Lacedaemonians, by 
a double line of circumvallation, the inner to blockade the city, 
the outer to repel any attempts of the other Etruscan States to 
raise the siege. The only allies that thus came to the rescue were 
the people of Capena and Falerii ; but their temporary success 
proved vrhat might have been done by the whole force of the con- 
federacy. The defeat of two military tribunes caused an alarm, 
both in the lines round Yeii and at Eome, that the armies of all 
Etruria were approachiug ; the temples were filled with crowds of 
suppliant matrons ; and the Senate decreed the appointment of 
a dictator, whose name at once recals the legendary character 
which the story of the siege assumes. The dictator was M. 
Ftjeius Camtllus, and his master of the horse was P. Cornelius 

How strangely the spirit of fable can find an entrance among 
hard material facts is proved by the celebrated legend of the 
draining of the Alban lake. In the seventh year of the siege, 
when the Romans were depressed by prolonged failure, a panic 
was caused by a sudden rising of the Alban lake about the end of 
the summer, till it overflowed its banks, f The stratagem of a 
Roman centurion secured the person of an old Etruscan sooth- 
sayer, who had derided the siege, telling the Yeientines that their 
city would never be taken till the waters of the Alban lake found 
a passage to the sea. His prediction was confinned by a response 
which the Romans obtained from Delphi ; and, like a practical 
people as they were, they set to work to fulfil the prophecy by 
constructing a tunnel to discharge the superfluous waters of the 
lake iuto the Anio.:{: The tunnel exists to this day, bored for 
nearly three miles through the hard volcanic rock, and with the 
ruins of the regulator at its outlet, to convince of the truth of the 
legend those who hold that " seeing is believing." 

The decree which the soothsayer had read from the book of fate 
was fulfilled ; and, while the Yeientines made vain offers of capi- 

* According to the Fasti, it would seem that the dictator was not appointed till the 
last year of the siege (b.c. 396). 

f The lake is the crater of an extinct volcano. 

\ Another such outlet (emissarium) for the waters of the Lacus Fucinus (Lake of 
Calano among the Jilquian hills, was constracted under the Emperor Claudius ; but 
the Alban emissary was of unknown antiquity, as is proved by the invention of a 
legend to account for its construction. 

B.C. 396.] CAPTUKE OF YEII. S57 

tulation, it occurred to Camillus that an army might be led into 
the city by the same means by which water could be drawn out of 
a lake. He constructed a mine beneath the rock of the citadel, 
and sent for the people of Home to share the expected booty. 
The king of Yeii was sacrificing to Juno, when the Romans, in 
the mine beneath, heard the soothsayer make the apparently safe 
promise, that the victory would be his, who should complete the 
sacrifice. At that moment Camillus gave the signal ; the Eoman 
soldiers sprang up through the pavement of the temple ; the king 
and the people about him were slain ; and the sacrifice was 
finished by the dictator. The statue of Juno was reverently 
carried fi'om the citadel, and, in accordance with a sign given 
by herself, set up in the temple on the Aventine. Camillus, 
returning to Rome with an enormous booty, went up in triumph 
to the Capitol in a chariot drawn by four milk-white steeds 
(B.C. 396). 

The fall of Veil was followed by the submission of her allies,* 
and of all the Etruscan cities south of the Ciminian forest, 
including the wealthy emporium of Caere. Nor did the arms of 
the conquerors stop at the Ciminian range. Their victory over 
the forces of Yolsinii {Bolsena) was followed by a truce for twenty 
years with the Etruscan confederacy (b.c. 393). In the same 
year the lands of the Yeientines were distributed among the whole 
people, at the rate of seven jugera to every householder. The 
consent of the patricians to this agrarian law is said to have 
been a compromise or reward for the rejection, by a majority in 
the Comitia Tributa, of a proposal made by the Tribune Sicinius, 
that the people should be divided between Rome and Yeii ; — a 
measure which would have reduced both cities to insignificant 
Latin towns, probably in jealous hostility with one another. 

It only remained to complete the poetical legend by the fate of 
the hero whose success had roused the jealousy of gods and men. 
In his pride of victory, and patrician scorn of the people, Camillus 
required each man to give up the tenth of his share of the booty, 
as he had vowed a tithe to Apollo in the hour of victory. The 
vow was treated as a pretence to rob the plebeians of the spoil 
they had won with their blood, and a charge of peculation was 
raised against the commander so generous with the property of 

* The chief of these was Falerii, the city of the Falisci, a people probably akin to the 
Volsci, though settled in Etruria. All know the legend of the treacherous schoolmaster 
of Falerii, whom Camillus had flogged back into the city by the noble boys whom he 
had delivered to the Romans. 

TGI,. II. — lY 


others. The Tribune, L. Apuleius, impeached Camillus for 
having taken for himself the great bronze gates of the city ; and, 
though his Clients and fellow gentiles would have paid for him any 
fine that might have been inflicted, they were unable to procure 
his acquittal. So he went into exile, and took up his abode at 
Ardea ; praying, as he left the city, that his country might 
soon have cause to regret him (b.c. 391). His prayer was 
answered ; for the Gauls had already poured over the Apennines 
and laid siege to Clusium, and the interference of Rome was about 
to bring her to the verge of destruction. But she was destined 
to rise again, with renewed life, from beneath the torrent which 
overwhelmed the civilization of her ancient rival ; and the same 
blow which levelled her for a moment prepared for her an easy 
conquest in Etruria. The dechne of that great nation continued 
steadily after the Gauls had retired from Rome, chiefly in con- 
sequence of the maritime successes of Dionysius of Syracuse. 
His capture of Pyrgi, the port of Caere, gave a fatal blow to the 
naval power of the Tuscans. His maritime empire, indeed, ceased 
with his death; but the Carthaginians were strong enough to 
exclude their old allies from the benefit of the change ; and the 
co-operation of Tuscan ships of war with Agathocles marks the 
complete rupture of the league, to which both had owed so much 
of their naval power, and which Aristotle mentions as in full force 
down to the death of Alexander (b.c. 323). 




*' Majora jam hinc bella et viribus hostium longinquitate vel regionum vel temporum 
spatio quibus bellatum est dicentur." — Lrrr. 






The general course of Ancient History has been well described 
as the history of civilization among the nations lying around the 
Mediterranean. Though belonging to races strikingly distinct in 
their languages and ethnic affinities, their position round that 
great pathway of maritime intercourse, the advantages of their 
climate and the general conformation of their shores, and the 
presence amongst them of the highest sources of civilization, 
grouped together into one historic whole peoples that belonged to 
the three divisions of the ancient world. Accordingly, since the 
stream of primeval history was divided at the dispersion of the na- 
tions, wehavebeen engaged with its five main divisions — the history 
of the chosen family, the early civilization of the Cushite race in 
Egypt and Chaldea, the great Semitic monarchies of Assyria and 
Babylon, the Aryan empire of the Medes and Persians, and the 


growtli of tlie kindred Hellenic and Italian peoples of the West. 
Glimpses more or less distinct have presented themselves of the 
outlaying nations, with which these came into contact from time to 
time ; and we have met with cases in which great peoples have 
burst the boundaries that seemed to divide them from the nations 
already civilized. Now, however, we have reached a point, where 
one of the chiefest of those irruptions calls on us to look beyond 
the Alps, and inquire into the origin of that mighty race which, 
under the name of Celts or Gauls, overspread Western Europe 
at the earliest ages of recorded history.* 

The whole region, from some indefinite boundary in Central 
Europe (apparently from the western frontier of the Scyths) to the 
Pillars of Hercules, was known to Herodotus as the Land of the 
Celts.\ The Celts were already intermixed with other races in parts 
of that vast region, as, for example, with the Iberians in Spain ; but 
they unquestionably formed the great bulk of the population west 
of the Rhine and the Alps. They were a branch of the great 
Aryan or Indo-Germanic race ; and, like all the European nations 
of that family, they undoubtedly migrated from the East, at a 
period of unknown antiquity. The occurrence among them of 
names etymologically identical with that of the great Cimmerian 
people, of whom we have had occasion before to speak, points to 
an ethnical affinity.:}: If this were established, the inference would 
seem probable, that the same great movement of the Scythians 
from the East, which displaced the Cimmerians from the shores of 

* CsBsar distinguishes the two names in the well-known passage (5. G. 1. 1), "'ipsorum 
lingua Celtce, nostra Galli appellantur." All English readers are famUiar with the name 
of " the Gael^'' as that of one important branch of the race in our o^vn islands ; and it 
appears also in the appellation oi Gallia. Celtce (Ke?i,rai) and Galaiw {TakaTat) 
were modifications of the native name, first used by the Greeks, whose colony of 
Massalia made them acquainted with the people, and adopted by the Romans, who 
much more commonly, however, use the name of Galli. In modem usage, Celts is the 
generic name for the whole of this great branch of the Aryan race. We make no at- 
tempt to adopt the form Kelt, which is indefensible in EngUsh, unless we were prepared 
to talk of the Kentaurs and the Kykhps, forms which even Mr. Grote's authority has 
failed to naturahze. 

f 'H KeItikt]. It is very remarkable that Herodotus had no distinct knowledge of 
the Germans as a separate race. 

X See Vol. I. p. 255. Examples occur in the name of Cym^-y or CumH, as that of 
the people who formerly inhabited Britain, and are now found in Wales and Cumberland ; 
in the Cimbrica Cherson£sus (Jutland), which, though inhabited by Teutons in historic 
times, may have been first peopled by Celts ; and in the Cinibri, probably the original in- 
habitants of that peninsula, who invaded Italy with the Teutons towards the close of 
the second century B.C. ; for the attempts to prove these Cimbri a Teutonic people are 


the Euxine, was that which drove the Celts westward. Whether 
the Teutonic races, whom the Komans called by the name of 
Germans, shared this movement, or whether they followed it, and 
displaced the Celts from the country known as Germany, we have 
no means of deciding. In either case, the Celts passed beyond that 
great central region of mountains, forests, and morasses, across 
the Rhine, which thenceforth formed their eastern boundary. 

The civil history of the world is only concerned with nations 
which have reached the state of social communities. It leaves to 
the antiquarian and the ethnologist the speculations about an " age 
of stone " and an " age of iron " and the still earlier time when human 
beings are supposed to have led a life like that of beavers in huts 
raised on piles above the surface of Swiss lakes ; only taking care, 
however, to maintain the truth, derived from the authentic records 
of man's primitive condition, that, if parts of Europe were ever 
peopled in this manner, it was not the original condition of the 
inhabitants, but a state into which they had declined from their 
primitive civilization. The true history of the Celts begins at the 
period when their migrations brought them into contact with the 
nations of Italy and Greece. That collision was the result, so to 
speak, of a great reflex movement in a direction opposite to their 
original migration, whether they were impelled by want arising 
from the increase of population, or tempted by a happier soil and 
climate, or moved by the mere restlessness of a people who were 
but slightly attached to their native country. For the Celts were 
a pastoral people ; and so little taste had they for agriculture, 
that Cicero says it was esteemed disgraceful for a free Celt to tiU 
the ground with his own hands. They were more addicted than 
either the Germans or Italians to congregating in towns and 
villages ; but they had not the steady purpose, and the earnest 
public spirit, which created the city life of the Greeks. In no 
branch of the human family have better and worse qualities been 
more strangely mingled, or the former more strikingly neutralized 
by the latter. The pictures drawn of them by the most ancient 
writers describe their character to the present day. " Gaul for the 
most part," said Cato the Censor, " pursues two things most per- 
severingly — war, and talking cleverly." The great modern histo- 
rian of the people, Thierry, depicts their character in the following 
words : — " The prominent qualities of the Celtic race were personal 
bravery, in which they excelled all nations ; an open impetuous 
temperament, accessible to every impression ; much intelligence, 
associated with extreme volatility ; want of perseverance ; aversion 


to discipline and order; ostentation and perpetual discord — the 
result of boundless vanity." 

Their part in the history of the ancient world is admirably 
described by Dr. Mommsen : " Such quahties — those of good 
soldiers and of bad citizens — explain the historical fact that the 
Celts have shaken all states and have founded none. Everywhere 
we find them ready to rove, or, in other words, to march ; pre- 
fen'ing moveable property to landed estate, and gold to everything 
else; following the profession of arms as a system of organized 
pillage, or even as a trade for hire, and with such success that 
even the Eoman historian Sallust acknowledges that the Celts 
bore off the prize from the Romans in feats of arms. They were 
the true ' soldiers of fortune ' of antiquity, as pictures and 
descriptions represent them, with big but not sinewy bodies, with 
shaggy h'air and long mustachios — quite a contrast to the Greeks 
and Romans, who shaved the upper lip ; in variegated embroidered 
dresses, which in combat were not unfrequently thrown off; with 
a broad gold ring round their neck, wearing no helmets, and 
without missile weapons of any sort, but furnished instead with 
an immense shield, a long ill-tempered sword, a dagger and a 
lance — all ornamented with gold, for they were not nnskilful in 
working in metals. Everything was made subservient to osten- 
tation, even wounds, which were often enlarged for the purpose of 
boasting a broader scar. Usually they 'fought on foot, but certain 
tribes on horseback, in which case every freeman was followed by 
two attendants, likewise mounted: war-chariots were early in 
use, as they were among the Libyans and the Hellenes in the 
earliest times. Many a trait reminds us of the chivalry of the 
middle ages, particularly the custom of single combat, which was 
foreign to the Greeks and Romans. Is ot only were they accus- 
tomed in war to challenge a single enemy to fight, after having 
previously insulted him by words and gestures ; in peace also they 
fought with each other in splendid equipments, as for life or death. 
After such feats, carousals followed in due course. In this way 
they led, whether under their own or a foreign banner, a restless 
soldier-life ; constantly occupied in fighting, and in their so-called 
feats of heroism, they were dispersed from Ireland and Spain to 
Asia Minor. But all their enterprises melted away like snow in 
spring, and they nowhere created a great state, or developed a 
distinctive culture of their own." Such were the people who now 
almost terminated the existence of Rome, and were afterwards 
with difficulty repulsed fr"om Greece ; who became masters of the 


most fertile part of Italy, and of a fair province in the heart of 
Asia Minor ; who, after their Italian province had been subdued,* 
inflicted disastrous blows on successive Roman generals, and were 
only at last subjugated by Caesar himself in nine critical and 
sometimes most dangerous campaigns (b.c. 51). 

It is now generally agreed that the Celts had a closer affinity 
to the Hellenic and Italian races, than any other members of the 
Indo-Germanic family. Recent investigations tend to show that 
this affinity was nearer with the Italians than with the Greeks, 
and it has even been maintained that the great stock, to which all 
three peoples belonged, branched off first into Greeks and Italo- 
Celts, and that the latter division was again subdivided into 
Italians and Celts. There are, at all events, clear indications of 
a Celtic element in the languages of the Umbro-Samnite stock, 
the oldest known inhabitants of the great plain between the Alps 
and the Apennines ; and several ancient writers held the opinion 
that the Umbrians sprang from the old Gauls {Galli Yeteres), as 
they called the Celtic people whom they suppose to have inhabited 
that region before the age of recorded history. At all events, the 
Celtic names of places furnish irrefragable proof of the presence 
of the race in the peninsula long before all historic times. We 
might therefore perhaps be justified in using, from the very 
beginning, the well-known name which it is convenient now to 
introduce as a geographical term, of "Gaul within the Alps" 
{Gallia Oisalpina),-\ for the whole of the great plain which, from 
an early period of Roman history, was in the complete possession 
of the Gauls, who had driven out the Etruscans. 

The ordinary Roman historians, who know nothing of an earlier 
Celtic population of Cisalpine Gaul, place the great immigration 
about the time of Tarquinius Priscus. Livy tells us that the 
Bituriges (about Bourges) in the basin of the Loire, were the 
dominant people in Transalpine Gaul. Pressed by excessive 
population — or, as others say, by civil commotions — they re- 
solved on a great emigration. Two immense bodies set out, 

* Gallia Cisalpina was reduced to a Roman province after the First Punic War, in 
B.C. 222. 

f The prefixes Cis (on this side) and Traiis (beyond) in the words Cisalpine and 
Transalpine are used with reference to Rome. Our language adopts the opposite 
phraseology in speaking, for example, of "Ultramontane CathoUcism." It may be 
well to mention that Cisalpine Gaul was divided by its great river into two parts, 
Cispadane and Transpadane, the former between the Po and the Apennines, the latter 
between the Po and the Alps. 


under the nephews of the king Ambiatns, for the banks of the 
Danube and the Po. The one horde, headed by Sigovesus, entered 
the Hercynian forest, in the heart of Germany, where Gallic settle- 
ments are mentioned by Caesar. The other, led by Bellovesus 
across the Graian Alps (the Little St. Bernard)'^ into the plain of 
Northern Italy, gained a victory over the Etruscans, and formed 
the canton of the Insubres, whose capital was Mediolanum 
{Milan). Soon afterwards another host formed the canton of the 
Cenomanni around Brixia {Brescia) and Yerona.f Other streams 
followed, of Celtic invaders mingled with Ligurians, till the whole 
country north of the Po was overrun, and the Etruscans for the 
most part driven out. But still did Gaul pour forth her teeming 
hordes. The Boii — that wide-spread tribe, who were both dis- 
tinguished in the history of Transalpine Gaul, and one of whose 
migrations gave the country of Bohemia its name — crossed, with 
the Lingones, over the Pennine Alps, by the Great St. Bernard, 
and, passing the Po on rafts, began to expel the Etruscans and 
Umbrians from the region between that river and the Apennines. 
Their capital was the old Etruscan Felsina, under the new name 
Bononia {Bologna). They were followed by the Senones from 
the banks of the Seine, who settled along the shore of the Adriatic 
between the rivers Utis {Montone) and ^sis {Esino), from 
Rimini to Ancona. A few of the old Etruscan cities, such as 
Mantua, held out against the invaders : others which bear Celtic 
names, as Mediolanum, were probably in existence before, as 
these wandering pastoral tribes are not likely at first to have 
built new cities. The epoch of the complete ascendancy of the 
invaders over the Etruscans is traditionally marked by the fall of 
the rich city of Melpum, in the Milanese, on the very day on 
which Camillus took Yeii (b.c. 396). However little these tradi- 
tions may be worth in detail, they represent the undoubted historic 
fact of a great movement of the Celtic race, which overpowered the 
Etruscans in the region between the Alps and the Apennines, and 
confined their confederacy within the limits of Etruria Proper, at 
the very time when the Romans were attacking them on the 
south, and the Samnites and other Italians stripping them of 
their possessions in Campania. 

* The older opinion is that they crossed the Alps by the pass of Mont Genevre, the 
Taurinus Saltus. 

f For the discussion of these alleged migrations, and their relation to the tribes of 
Transalpine Gaul, on the one hand, and the older Celtic settlements in Italy, on the 
other, see Mr. Long's article, Gallia Cisalpina, in Smith's Dictionary of Geog- 

B.C. 390.] BATTLE OF THE ALLIA. 265 

After the fall of Melpum, the Gauls pressed on over the Apen- 
nines into the heart of Etruria, and the tribe of the Senones laid 
siege to Clusium, In their extremity, the Etruscans sought aid 
from Rome, and an opportunity seemed to be offered, at once to 
repel the barbarian invaders and to reduce the Etruscans to the 
level of protected allies. But the Romans had already formed 
the idea, that it was for them to command and for other nations 
to submit; or rather, their annalists — ^whose account of the 
whole campaign is imbued with fable from beginning to end — 
choose to represent them as adopting this tone, and boast of 
the bad faith with which they sustained their arrogance. Three 
envoys were sent to bid the Gauls not to molest the allies of 
Rome. Arriving at Clusium, they joined the besieged in a sally, 
and one of them slew a Gaulish chief. The enemy — says Livy — 
soon perceived that three of the bravest and noblest of the Roman 
youth were fighting in the van of the Etruscans, with whom they 
could not be confounded. Deputies were sent to Rome to demand 
the surrender at least of him who had killed a Gaul, when there 
was no war between the nations. The Senate would have com- 
plied ; but the father of the offender, a military tribune, appealed 
to the people and the demand was rejected. It is even said that 
the three envoys were elected as militaiy tribunes for the ensuing 
year, the more plainly to show contempt of the barbarians. 

Indignant at this adoption of the envoys' breach of faith by the 
Roman people, the Gauls, who numbered Y0,000 fighting men, 
broke up the siege of Clusium, and marched straight for the 
devoted city. To the astonished people of the towns which they 
passed by without attacking, their forbearance was explained by 
the reiterated cry, " For Rome ! for Rome ! " So say the annal- 
ists ; but in truth the invaders, whose one object was plunder, 
would not stay to besiege the walled cities of Etruria, when the 
rich plains of Latium invited their cupidity. They did not, in 
fact, march direct for Rome, but crossed the Tiber into the Sabine 
territory, and began to ravage the fertile country between that river 
and the Anio. The military tribimes, who had expected to see 
them on the right bank of the river, marched out in haste with 
the whole levy, amounting to 40,000 men, and met the enemy on 
the banks of the little river Allia, a confluent of tlie Tiber, within 
eleven miles of Rome.* Still possessed with the idea, that the 

* According to Livy, the exact spot was eleven Koman miles from the city, on 
the high road (the Via Salaria). Notwithstanding this precise description, there is a 
difficulty in identifying the river, and the choice lies between what are now two 


barbarians were a despicable foe, the Romans neglected their 
usual precautions of fortifying a camp and providing for a 
retreat. They prepared for their first encounter with the Celts 
with that confidence in superior discipline, which has possessed 
regular armies in many a later conflict with the same race. But 
there is no evidence of that extreme carelessness, by the imputation 
of which the family bards magnified the want of Camillus on that 
day. A defensive position was taken up behind the Allia, the 
broken water-course covering the front. The right, composed of the 
worse armed class of the poorer citizens, had the advantage of the 
higher ground ; the main body filled the space between the hills 
and the Tiber ; the left rested on the river. The Gallic chieftain 
led his bravest warriors against the Homan right, which gave way 
before the desperate valour and the sweeping broadsword of the 
Gael. The fugitives, making for the river, spread disorder into 
the ranks of the legions ; the Gauls pressed on in their furious 
charge ; and the rout became general. Some fled to Rome ; 
others found shelter in a thick wood till night ; while the mass 
of the fugitives, in their eagerness to seek safety beyond the Tiber, 
tried to swim the river and escape to Yeii. A fearful slaughter 
was made upon the bank and in the stream ; and the flower of 
the Roman youth perished there. The rest escaped to the right 
bank, and left open the road to Rome. The 18th of July, in the 
364:th year of the city (b.c. 390), was ever after distinguished 
in the Roman calendar by the blackest mark, as the Day of the 

The victors rested for a whole day on the field of battle, collect- 
ing the trophies of the slain, to be the memorials of each warrior's 
valour. On the third day the victors entered the open gates of 
Rome, This brief delay gave time to remove or bury many of the 
most sacred objects, and to prepare for the defence of the citadel. 
Many of the citizens had found shelter at Yeii, where they would 
naturally revive the interrupted scheme of founding a new capital. 
Many more seized the opportunity to disperse, with their moveable 

little brooks, running through deep ravines from the hUls to the Tiber. One of these, 
the Scolo del Casale, crosses the road at a spot called the Foriie di Papa, about twelve 
miles from Rome. Its precipitous banks answer exactly to Livy's description of the 

* The day was called that of the Olades AUiensls. According to the Roman reck- 
oning it was A.D. XV. Col Sextil, which is frequently rendered, by an oversight, the 16th 
of July. There seems also to be an error in the year, in consequence of the disorder 
into which the Roman calendar fell. The Greek date is 01. 98. 1, a year which began 
at the Midsummer of B.C. 388. 


effects, to other neighbouring cities of Etruria and Latium. But 
it was resolved not to abandon the ancient seat of the three great 
deities upon the Capitol, the spot to which sure omens had fore- 
told the empire of the world. Still, to p'rovide against the ivorst, 
the Flamen of Quirinus and the Yestal Yirgins were sent to Csere, 
with the sacred things over which they watched. The procession 
had crossed the Tiber, and was mounting the slope of the Mount 
Janiculus on foot, when they were overtaken by a plebeian named 
L. Albinus, who was conveying his wife and children in a wagon. 
He pronounced it to be a shame that he and his should ride, while 
the sacred virgins went on foot, and, making his family dismount, 
he placed them, with the holy fire, in the carriage,- and escorted 
them safe to Caere. 

Meanwhile, the Capitol was hastily provisioned, and none were 
admitted within its precincts but such as could take part in its 
defence. There were still left a number of aged citizens, ministers 
of religion and heads of the old patrician houses, who were unable 
to render military service, and unwilling to abandon the homes of 
their forefathers and their gods. They met together and recited, 
by the mouth of the chief pontiff, M. Fabius, the impressive 
formula, by which the lives of their enemies were devoted, with 
their own, to the gods beneath the earth and to the spirits of the 
dead. For such was the Roman faith, that the citizen who did 
not shrink from the solemn devotion of himself acquired a power 
over the fate of his country's enemies. Then they parted, and each 
sat down in the porch of his liouse — pontiffs, priests, senators, and 
former curule magistrates, all invested with the insignia of their 
rank, and seated in their curule chairs. The Gallic hordes poured 
into the undefended city. The chieftains occupied the houses of 
the patricians on the Palatine, while their followers were dispersed 
plundering and destroying in the streets. With profound aston- 
ishment they beheld the venerable men seated in calm dignity, 
and took them at first for gods. Presently a Gaul went up to the 
priest Papirius, and began reverently to stroke his long white 
beard. Indignant at this profanation of his sacred person, Papi- 
rius smote the Gaul upon the head with his ivory sceptre. With 
the quickness of his race to resent a blow, the barbarian cut down 
Papirius with his broadsword ; the sight of his blood dissolved the 
spell ; and the other fathers of the city shared his fate in a general 

The Gauls now attempted to storm the Capitol by the slope " 

* The cliviis CapitoUnus. 


which then formed its only approach, the other sides being guarded 
by high precipices. Failing in this assault, they formed a blockade, 
and occupied themselves in ravaging the lands of Latium. Some 
accounts represent them as carrying their ravages far into the 
south of Italy. Meanwhile, the spirits of the Romans in Yeii 
began to revive, and plans were proposed for the succour of the 
besieged. A youth named Pontius Cominius volunteered to open 
a communication with the Capitol. The outer face of the hill was 
left unenclosed, as we have seen, by the walls of Servius, and 
the envoy, having swum down the Tiber, climbed up this way by 
night, and returned in safety. But in the morning, the marks of 
his passage suggested to the Gauls a means of surprising the 
citadel. In the dead of the following night a party scaled the 
cliflP. There was neither wall nor sentinel in their way ; the very 
dogs seemed miraculously silent, as if resigning the honour of 
that night to other guardians. In the precinct of the three great 
deities were kept some geese, sacred to Juno ; and these birds had 
been spared in the famine, from which the garrison had begun to 
suffer. They now cried out and flapped their wings. The noise 
roused M. Manlius, who dwelt close by. Eushing to the cliff, he 
dashed his shield in the face of the forem.ost Gaul, who fell back, 
overthrowing those behind him. A panic seized the assailants. 
Dropping their arms to cling to the rock, they fell an easy prey to 
the Romans, who had now caught the alarm. The Capitol was 
saved. Manlius was rewarded with a share of the daily ration of each 
of the defenders, and his name was enrolled among the worthies 
of the Roman state, though he was soon destined to fall a victim to 
patrician jealousy. Such legends till up an acknowledged historic 
void with more than merely fictitious beauties : for they show the 
faith of the Romans in the unconquerable spirit of their ancestors, 
even in the hour of their deepest distress. 

The blockade of the Capitol had lasted for seven months,* 
during which the city had been reduced to ashes and the sur- 
rounding country devastated, when famine drove the defenders 
to purchase the retreat of the barbarians by a heavy ransom. At 
this crisis, the Gauls received tidings that the Yeneti, an Illyrian 
tribe, whose name still survives in Venice, had invaded their 
recently acquired possessions on the Po. They consented to 
accept a thousand pounds' weight of gold, which the besieged 
collected fi'om the treasures of the Capitoline temples and from 

* The old annalists found no difficulty in believing that the Romans had been able, 
in one day, to stock the citadel with seven monUis' provisions. 



B.C. 390.] RANSOM OF THE CITY. 269 

tlie private wealth that had been carried into the citadel for 
safety. But Brennus, — as the Romans called the Gallic chieftain, 
mistaking a title for a proper name* — insulted the conquered by 
a proof of their helplessness. When the military tribune, Sulpi- 
cius, complained that the Gaulish weights were unfair, the chief- 
tain threw his heavy broadsword into the scale, with the exclama- 
tion, YcB Victis, — " So much the worst for the vanquished ! " 
But the more lasting loss fell upon the conquerors. " The 
scornful throwing down of the Gallic sword, that it might be 
outweighed by Roman gold, indicated very truly how mattei*s 
stood. The iron of the barbarians had conquered ; but they sold 
their victory ; and by selling lost it."f It is in the usual course 
of things that the backward movement of such a barbarian host, 
laden with plunder and disordered by their own excesses, should be 
harassed by the people they had wasted in their advance. Among 
such stories, one was that the Etruscans of Caere cut off the party 
which had advanced into Southern Italy, as they were marching 
to rejoin the main body ; and the victory was swelled by tradition 
into one over the main body itself, involving the recovery of the 
ransom-gold of Rome. The Roman fabuhsts claimed the victory 
for Camillus, who was said to have defeated the Gauls while they 
were besieging a city in alliance with Rome, and so to have re- 
covered the spoil. At last the legend was magnified into the 
absurd fiction that Camillus appeared at the head of the forces 
that had been reorganized at Veii, at the very moment when 
Brennus had uttered his insolent boast ; drove out the Gauls in 
an ignominious defeat ; and the next day gained a victory, of 
which not one of the Gauls was left to cai-ry back the tidings. 
The sole residuum of truth appears to be the recall of CamiUus 
from exile, and his reappointment as dictator to restore order in 
the recovered city. Various bands of the invaders remained in 
Central Italy, or returned from time to time : and the annals of 
Rome record several battles fought with them during the fourth 
century b.c. The veteran Camillus gained a great victory over 
them at Alba, in his fifth dictatorship (b.c. 367). Six years 
later the Gauls, having advanced as far as the bridge of the 
Anio, within five miles of Rome, were met by the dictator, 
Titus Quinctius Pennus; and, as the two armies were encamped 
opposite each other, Titus Manlius, the son of L. Manlius 

* Brennus is bran (a leader). The leader of the Gauls in the subsequent assault on 
Delphi is called by the same name (b.c. 279). See p. 110. 
f Mommsen, History of Rome, vol. i. p. 343. 


Capitolinus, killed a gigantic Gaul in single combat, and handed 
down to his family the surname of Torquatus, from the gold chain 
or ring {torques) which he took from the neck of his foe (b.c. 361). 
The Gauls drew oflf to Campania, without venturing a battle ; and 
on their return in the following year, the dictator, Q. Servilius 
Ahala, repulsed them outside the Colline gate (b.c. 360). They 
were again defeated by the dictator, C. Sulpicius Peticus, two 
years later (e.g. 358) ; and in b.c. 350, a party of Gauls, who 
were leagued with Greek pirates in plundering the coasts of 
Latium, w^ere dislodged by the dictator, L. Furius Camillus (a son 
of the great Camillus), from their position on the Alban Mount. 
Camillus, as consul in the following year, defeated them again ; 
and it was on this occasion that M. Valerius gained the surname 
of Corvus (the Raven) from his single combat with a gigantic 
Gaul. The Gaul probably bore that epithet, which was trans- 
ferred to his victor ; but the legend told how a raven perched on 
the helmet of the Eoman and aided him in the fight by striking 
liis beak and wings into the face of the foe. The victory of L. 
Camillus was heard of by Aristotle at Athens. " These predatory 
expeditions" — says Dr. Mommsen — "formidable and trouble- 
some as they may have been, were rather incidental misfortunes 
than events of historical importance; and the main result of 
them was that the Romans were regarded, in their own country 
and beyond it, ever more and more as the bulwark of the civil- 
ized nations of Italy against the assaults of the dreaded barba- 
rians — a view which tended, more than is usually thought, to help 
forward their subsequent claim to universal empire." 

Great as was the catastrophe, the news of which was carried 
as far as Greece, and permanent as were its memorials,'^ the de- 
stniction of Rome by the Gauls was not one of those events which 
change the face of history. It was like a fearful inundation, fi-om 
which men are glad, for the time, to escape with their lives ; but, 
when it subsides, as suddenly as it rose, they rebuild their ruined 
houses, resume their former habits, and soon obliterate the traces, 
though not the remembrance, of the desolation. A renewal of 
the proposal to transfer the abode of the Roman people to Veil 
was defeated by the spirited remonstrances of Camillus, and the 
materials for the rebuilding of the city seem to have been 
obtained in part by stripping the houses of Veil of their roofs. 

* For example, the conquest of the city was an epoch from which years were dated ; 
and there was a law annulling all exemptions from military service in the case of a Gallic 


The narrow and irregular streets of Rome, like those of London 
after the great fire, testified to the haste with which the city was 
rebuilt. The sites of the temples were retraced by the augurs 
amidst the ruins, and the ancient monuments were diligently 
sought for. Among those recovered were the Laws of the Twelve 
Tables, and some old laws of the regal period, the treaty with 
Carthage, and other treaties with foreign states ; — so erroneous is 
the oft-repeated statement, that all the ancient documents perished 
in tlie conflagration of the city. It is characteristic of the spirit 
of the patricians, that, while the civil laws were again set up in 
public places, the religious law was not promulgated, but reserved 
for the sole knowledge of the pontifi:s. 

The period immediately following the retreat of the Gauls must 
have been one of frightful distress. The people, decimated by 
the slaughter of the more helpless and by the loss of many who 
were carried captive into Gaul, besides those who had fallen in 
battle, returned to a city of which little remained but the Capitol 
and its glorious recollections, and looked out from the hills 
crowned with the ruins of their temples and houses, over the 
devastated surface of the Campagna. The rich farms of the 
patrician possessor and the humble homesteads of the plebeian 
landholder were involved in a common ruin, and it was only the 
wealthy that could speedily renew their stock and buildings. The 
pressure of distress was aggravated by the injudicious haste with 
which a tribute was imposed to replace the sacred treasures of 
the Capitol. Money-lenders were attracted to Rome by the exten- 
sion of the limit of usury allowed by the Twelve Tables. These 
men carried on business in the names of the patricians whose 
clients they became ; and the intolerable burthen of debt once 
more weighed down the poorer classes. All that had been done 
in the last century to reconcile the patricians and plebeians seemed 
to be again undone, and the discord between the orders threatened 
to break out anew under the two leaders who had done most to 
save the state, Camillus and Manlius. 

Meanwhile, the energy of Camillus reorganized the military 
force of Rome, to meet the dangers that beset her on every side. 
The Latins and Hemicans renounced the treaty made just a cen- 
tury before by Spurius Cassius ; but, as some compensation, the 
power of the ^quians seems to have been finally broken by the 
Gauls. The Etruscans had taken advantage of the distress of 
Rome to make an assault on Yeii, which proved unsuccessful; and 
to punish this attack was the first great military enterprise of the 


restored state. In the course of two years all southern Etruria 
was subdued as far as the Oiuiinian Forest, and the conquered terri- 
tory was formed into four new tribes (e.g. 387). Another view is 
that these tribes were formed out of the region previously won 
from the Yeientines and their allies. At all events this part of 
Etruria was completely Eomanized, and covered with Roman 
colonies, before the middle of the fom'th century b.c. About the 
close of that period a great effort to revolt was made by the cities 
of Tarquinii, Caere, and Falerii, and 307 Roman prisoners, who 
were taken in the first battles, were slaughtered in the market- 
place of Tarquinii (b.c. 358). After an obstinate war, Caere was 
reduced to the state of a dependent ally, under the form of a truce 
for 100 years, and its people were admitted to a modified citizen- 
ship (b.c. 353). But the Romans were not yet prepared to efiect 
the conquest of central and northern Etruria, and they were 
content to make a truce with Tarquinii for forty years (b.c. 351). 

The Etruscans still, however, maintained a well consolidated 
power in the hilly region, comprising the greater part of Etruria 
Proper, between the Apennines and the Ciminian Forest. On 
their northern frontier, they were no longer assailed by the Gauls, 
whose irruptions across the Alps for some reason ceased, and who 
settled down quietly in the great valley of the Po. But even 
here they had not such exclusive occupation as to drive out the 
former masters of the country. Their desultory mode of estab- 
lishing themselves left many of the most important cities in the 
hands of the Etruscans, whose retention of the port of Adria, for 
example, made their corsairs formidable in the Adriatic down to 
the end of the fourth century b.c. ; and Mantua, protected by its 
marshes, remained an Etruscan city to the time of the empire. 
The Etruscans maintained themselves in what was perhaps the 
cradle of their nation, the Alpine region of Rhsetia,* and the 
Umbrians still held the valleys on the northern slope of the 
Apennines; and the Celtic settlements seem to have occupied 
the level plain along the Po, their chief tribes being the Insubres 
and Cenomanni on the north of the river, the Boii on the south, 
and the Senones along the coast of the Adriatic. The north- 
eastern part of the valley was occupied by the Illyrian Yeneti, 
and in the west the Ligurians not only held the Maritime Alps, 
but a large part of the Apennines, thus forming a barrier between 
the Celts and the Etruscans. It was probably to the influence of 
the Etruscans who remained amongst them that the Celts of 

* See p. 141. 



Cisalpine Gaul owed the higher degree of civilization, which dis- 
tinguished them from their brethren beyond the Alps, and prepared 
them to live in contentment under the government of Rome. But 
even while they communicated this civilizing impulse, the Etrus- 
cans themselves were rapidly degenerating. The cities were over- 
whelmed by debasing luxury at the very time that their power 
was declining abroad. Civil dissensions arose between the people 
of the several states and the oligarchies which superseded the old 
patriarchal monarchies, till the nobles were obliged to call in the 
power of Rome, which put an end to their factions by their subju- 
gation. The last struggles of the Etruscans for independence are 
connected with the more powerful efforts of the nations of the 
Italian stock. 

On the side of Latium, Rome was threatened with the loss of 
all the greatness which had been growing ever since the treaties 
of Spurius Cassius with the Latins and the Hernicans. By the 
close alliance of a hundred years, the Sabines, ^quians, and 
Yolscians had been curbed, and the territory of Rome extended 
at their expense. But these very successes induced the proud 
republic to assume a more and more decided authority over her 
allies ; and some striking instances are recorded of her injustice 
and oppression. The decrease of the common danger removed the 
strongest motive for union, and, even before the capture of Rome 
by the Gauls, Latin volunteers fought in the ranks of the Yol- 
scians. After the retreat of the Gauls, the alliance was openly re- 
nounced ; and the republic became involved in war with some of the 
chief Latin cities ; but fortunately for her safety, they did not yet 
unite in a common scheme of revolt. During the ten years which 
succeeded the departure of the Gauls, victories were gained succes- 
sively over Lanuvium, Praeneste, and Tusculum ; and the last city 
furnished the earliest case of the political incoi-^^oration of a whole 
state into the Roman commonwealth, retaining only its own munici- 
pal administration (b.c. 381). The details of these struggles, and 
of the severer contest with the revolted Hernicans, need not be 
further dwelt on at present. The conJiict resulted in the restora- 
tion of the old league ; but on terms which secm-ed to Rome a 
greater supremacy than before (b.c. 358). From the obscure and 
no doubt exaggerated incidents of these wars, and of those with 
the Yolscians, it is time to turn to the constitutional struggles 
which were renewed within the republic. 

The distress of the lower classes, in consequence of the ravages 
of the Gauls, soon became intolerable. Their debts rapidly accu- 

TOL. II. — 18 


mulated, and the rate of interest was such, that in some cases the 
principal is said to have been paid several times over in usury 
within the first five years after the invasion. The old laws of 
debt, which had never been repealed, were enforced with the same 
merciless severity that had provoked the first secession to the 
Sacred Mount. The commons found a champion in M. Man- 
lius, the saviour of the Capitol, whom the patrician annalists 
accuse of jealousy towards Camillus, the leader of their own 
order, in such a way as to admit that the one had been neglected, 
while every honour had been heaped upon the other. While 
Manlius was in this state of mind, he one day saw a centurion 
who had served under him dragged off in irons to his creditor's 
grin ding-house. He paid the veteran's debt upon the spot, and 
vowed that Avhile he had a pound of brass no debtor should be im- 
prisoned. The sale of the estate allotted to him from the lands 
of Yeii enabled him so to keep his word, that he is said to have 
advanced money, free of interest, to no less than four hundred 
debtors ; and thus he earned the title of " Father of the Com- 
mons " [Pater Plebis). The patrician fathers could not brook so 
dangerous a rival. In the year b.c. 385, Aulus Cornelius Cossus was 
named dictator, as much against Manlius as against the Yolscians 
and Etruscans ; and he summoned Manlius to prove the charge, 
which he was said to have made against the patrician magistrates, 
of embezzling the tribute raised to replace the treasures of the 
Capitol. Manlius was thrown into prison, but released by a 
decree of the senate when the dictator's ofiice had expired. The 
accounts of the seditious violence with which he used his liberty 
would go far to justify his enemies, if we could believe in their 
impartial truth. At length, like Spurius Cassius, he was arraigned 
before the centuries in the Campus Martins for aspiring to the 
kingdom. He appeared there, surrounded by the debtors he had 
released, and the witnesses to his deeds in war. He showed the 
spoils of the thirty enemies he had slain in battle, the forty rewards 
of valour he had received from generals on the field of battle, and 
the scars of wounds upon his breast. Then, turning to the 
Capitol, he invoked the help of the gods whose temples he had 
saved, and bade the people give judgment as in their sight. His 
acquittal was secure, had not the tribunes, who were in the 
interest of his accusers, interposed to dissolve the assembly. 
Brought to trial again before the Curiae, who were purposely 
convened at a spot where the Capitol was hidden from their view, 
Manlius was condemned to the death of a traitor. By a refine- 


merit of ingratitude, he was hurled from the Tarpeian rock, a cliff 
of the same hill down which he had hm-led the Gaul, and his 
house, in which he had been the first to hear the alarm that 
warned him to save the Capitol, was razed to the ground. The 
part taken by the tribunes in his condemnation has been urged as 
a proof of his guilt ; but, besides that the patricians may have 
already begun their policy of securing tools among the tribunes, 
it seems not at all improbable that these official protectors of the 
commons were jealous of Manlius's officious but most effective 
interposition ; and he may have made enemies by that uncompro- 
mising sternness which was so conspicuous in others of his race, 
and so well expressed by the family name of Imperiosus. But his 
fate was only the failure of a premature movement for a reform 
which could only be postponed (b.c. 384). Meanwhile the power of 
the nobles was only the more confirmed, and the distress of the 
commons grew deeper. But the determination of the patricians to 
confine the disnities of the state to their own order once more 
threw the strength of the plebeian nobility and men of wealth into 
the opposite scale, and provoked a political reform in place of the 
mere redress of practical grievances. Such is the blind selfishness 
by which, in every age, oligarchies have served the cause of liberty, 
teaching those who only asked for justice that freedom must first 
be won. 

The year b.c. 376 is memorable for the fii-st tribunate of C. 
Liciiiius and his kinsman L. Sextius, who submitted the cele- 
brated LiciNiAN Rogations to the assembly of the tribes. These 
were three in number, aiming at equality of political rights, the 
fair apportioning of the public lands, and the relief of the intoler- 
able burthen of debt. The first proposed the abolition of the 
military tribunate, which, though created as a compromise 
between the orders, had proved the means of securing power to 
the patricians : the consulate was to be restored, with the condi- 
tion that one of the consuls must always be a plebeian. The 
second enacted that no citizen should possess* more than 500 
jugera of the public lands, or pasture on it more than 100 head 
of large and 500 of small cattle, imder penalty of a heavy fine. 
The third provided that all interest already paid on loans should 
be deducted from the principal, and that the balance should be 
discharged by instalments spread over three years. The last 
proposal may seem to our ideas to be tainted with the quality of 
confiscation; but Niebuhr has shown that, while involving no 

* See the explanation oi possessio on p. 187. 


ml injosdce to credit<HSi, it was the only alternative to the loss of 
Ae public s«vice5 of a large body of free dtiz^is, who had or soon 
mi^ have beeome bondsmen to their creditors. 

The eoiKtitatioii to die taibnnidan college enabled the patri- 
cians to stop the pwjgPffis of the measaie by the ^intercession " 
of some of their mmiber. But Lidnios and Sextins had also 
their TEto on the deetkm of the magistrate ; and for five years, 
dmin^ niiidi they weie saceessively le-eleeted. they prevented the 
holding <^the consnlar oomitia, (blc. 375 — 371>.* It was only on 
the necessity crested by an attack <^the Latins npon Tnsonlmn — 
now, as we have seen, a subject aDy of Borne — that the tribunes 
permitted the dectiim of ax consular military tribimeB for the 
Tear blc 370, aoKMig whom was M. Fabins Ambustns, the fetho"- 
in-]aw and sapptsttee of Licanins, and two Val^ii, whoee adherence 
to the pt^iolar tnditians of their house balanced the patrician 
aeal of sndi eoHeagoes as a Gossos and a Cindnnatns. Three 
of the new tribones of the pld>s aded with Sextius and Licinins ; 
and the odier fire, who were in the interest of the patricians, no 
longier dared to interpose a direct n^o to the Eogadons. They 
only insisted on dday, npcm die plea that a laige nnmb» of the 
wtigpmg wefe absent befixe Yditne, the dege of whidi place had 
been £nrmed by die Boman army, after the Latins had been re- 
poked fiom Tuseolnm. But Licinios met this opposition with a 
new demand, Hb fiinrth rogatHm, to tranter the custody of 
die SibyDinebodQ fimn the patridan Two {Ihtmnmri) to a 
eoilege of Ten, oooipoised equally at patridsma and plebeians, was 
a first step to the admiaBann of die pldiB to thoee religions 
pchil^^ wiiidi f<Hmed die eacxed citadel of patrician excln- 

For two yeaxsmose the popular tribunes woe re-dected, and no 
oppoeitiMi was made by them to die a^ypointment of military 
tnbnneB. Thepowenofpatridaniesistanoewereoomingtoanend. 
and the eontinuanee oi the war with Yditrse fimu^ed a pretext f <:*r 
Ixingiii^ out the last weapon in thdr armoury, the appointment 
of CamiDm as dictator fiv the fbuith time. But the veteran's 
zeal outran his discxetion. His call for the ^diole miUtarv lew 

• ftnrih is Ae tiftf"f* of Ae JPfarfE CtfUeEai (tfae fbgmpnts of «be old fets of 
wwFwmiiCTs CMBd m Ae G^tedX of Inj ad Jhaayaas, and hj imfKta6im, of 
FritflnB. KadowB irfaeeg Aeiitereii torn yaK, enieaOj to aroid Ae ilKi rily of 

m fire Wrens' iMMilbj Bi« dhe uMUOt^'mm ctwtcd Ae exeariive y —iiil to 

■d wSta vUe tte cairie wiaffSttaaa woe fioa aay ciaBe b 


to follow him to the field — whether only to gain time, or for the 
purpose, formerly ascribed to Cincinnatus, of holding the Comitia 
where his impeHum would have been supreme — was utterly dis- 
regarded. The Senate compelled him to abdicate, and nominated 
a successor expressly to compose the existing troubles, whose 
name, P. Manlius Capitolinus, is equally significant with his 
choice of C. JLiciniiis Calvus for his Master of the Horse. More 
than this, the rogation for the custody of the Sibylline books was 
carried this year (b.c. 368). Licinius and Sextius were elected 
tribunes for the tenth and last time. To ensure the success 
which was now within their grasp, they combined the three 
rogations in one vote ; * and they were carried in the year b.c. 367, 
after a contest of ten years, but one neither disgraced by blood- 
shed noY envenomed by secession. The patricians obtained a 
compensation for the loss of half the consular power by the 
institution of a new curule magistracy, to be held by patricians 
only, dignified with the original name borne by the consuls (when 
they were called PE-ETOEs),t with the lictors and fasces and other 
royal insignia, and invested with the regal prerogative of admi- 
nistering justice in the city. The Prgetor had also the irapenum^ 
and might be placed in command of an army ; in fact, the title of 
his office was strictly miKtary, handed down from the time when 
the republic was essentially an army. At first one Prsetor only 
was appointed, usually a consul of the preceding year. His posi- 
tion as a sort of third consul was marked by his being called 
" the colleague of the consuls ; " % but he was subject to their 

The passage of the Licinian Rogations into Laws seems to have 
been distinguished from former victories of the plebs by the spirit 
of concord in which they were accepted by both orders. The tribune 
L. Sextius was chosen as the first plebeian consul ; and the new 
praetorship was conferred on Spurius, the son of the great Camillus, 
who is said himself to have crowned his heroic deeds by acting the 
part of a mediator. It seemed that a sure pledge was given of 
future union, when the veteran hero of the patricians, now dictator 

* A similar case has lately occurred among ourselves, in the inclusion in one bill of 
all the financial measures forming the budget of the year, to prevent the rejection of a 
part of them by the House of Lords. 

f See p. 218. 

\ Conlega consulihus. A second praetor was appointed in b.c. 246, to administer 
justice where foreigners were concerned. The two were then called Prcetor Urfxtrma 
and Prcetor Peregrinus respectively. As foreign provinces were acquired, the number 
of praetors was increased. For these and all other details see the ordinary works on 
Roman Antiquities. 


for the fifth time,, and fresh from his new victory over the Gauls 
at Alba, founded the temple of Concord on a lower platform of the 
Capitoline hill, overlooking the Forum, to commemorate the recon- 
ciliation of the orders.* A fourth day was added to the Great 
Roman Games, as if to give the plebeians an equal part in them 
with the three ancient tribes, and the Curule ^diles were for the 
first time appointed to preside over them, the office being held 
by patricians and plebeians alternately.f 

The general result of this great peaceful revolution is thus 
summed up by Dr. Mommsen : — " With the election of the first 
non-patrician consul, the gentile aristocracy ceased both in fact 
and law to be numbered among the political institutions of Rome. 
. . The religious consecration of the new concord of the com- 
munity was the last official act of the old warrior and statesman, 
and a worthy termination of his long and glorious career.:}: He 
was not wholly mistaken. The more discerning portion of the 
gentes evidently from this time forward looked upon their ex- 
clusive political privileges as lost, and were content to share the 
government with the plebeian aristocracy. In the majority, how- 
ever, the patrician spirit proved true to its incorrigible character. 
On the strength of the privilege which the champions of legiti- 
macy have at all times arrogated, of obeying the laws only when 
these coincide with their party interests, the Roman nobles on 
various occasions ventured, in open violation of the stipulated 
arrangement, to nominate two patrician consuls. But when, by 
way of answer to an election of that sort for the year b.c. 343, 
the community in the year following formally resolved to allow 
both consular positions to be filled by non-patricians, they under- 
stood the implied threat, and still perhaps wished, but never again 
ventured, to touch the second consular place." § The remaining 
patrician offices could not long be withheld from the plebeians. 
The mastership of the horse had been conferred on a plebeian, 
C. Licinius Calvus, in b.c. 368 ; and twelve years later the first 
plebeian dictator, C. Marcius Rutilus, gained a great victory over 
the Etruscans (b.c. 356). The same man was the first plebeian 

* This temple became a frequent place of meeting for the senate. It overhung the 
Comitium, or part of the Forum where the Curiae used to meet. 

f Respecting the tenure and functions of this oflfice, see the Dictionary of Greek and 
Roman Antiquities. 

X Camillus died in the great pestilence of B.C. 365. 

§ Mommsen, History of Rome, vol. i. pp. 305, 306. The concession referred to wa3 
extorted by the pressure of the First Samnite War, which broke out in b.c. 343, 



censor in b.c. 351 ; and the prsetorsbip was thrown open in b.c. 
337. Two years before this, the political revolution was completed 
by the Publilian Laws, so called from the dictator, Q. Pub- 
lilius Philo, who proposed them. The first enacted that the 
resolutions of the Plebs should be binding on all the people :* 
the second required the Curise to give their previous sanction to all 
laws and elections of the centuries : the third excluded the pa- 
tricians from one of the two censorships, as they had been already 
excluded from one of the two consulships. Thus, as the result of 
this long conflict, the patricians were distinguished from the 
plebeians, so far as office was concerned, rather by disabilities 
than privileges ; having only an equal part in the curule offices, 
and being entirely excluded from the tribunate and plebeian aedile- 
ship. It naturally took longer for the plebeians to obtain a share 
in the religious colleges. Some of the priestly offices, which were 
of peculiar sanctity and of little political influence, remained in 
the hands of the patricians, especially those of the three great 
Flamens, the Rex Sacrorum, and the Salii. But the colleges of 
the pontiffs and the augurs, who had a controlling power over the 
whole machine of government, were thrown oj)en to the plebeians 
by the Ogulnian Law in b.c. 300. 

It was far less easy to accomplish the social amehoration, for 
which these constitutional changes had been chiefly desired. The 
strictness with which the Licinian law respecting the public land 
was for some time enforced, and the natural tendency to its eva- 
sion — not by the patricians only, but the wealthy plebeians — are 
alike attested by the fact, that Licinius himself was fined for 
exceeding the legal maximum of possession (b.c. 357). The usury 
laws of the Twelve Tables were not only renewed, but the legal 
rate of interest was reduced to five per cent. (b.c. 34:7), and the 
absurd attempt was even made to forbid usury altogether 
(b.c 342). But no such legislation could create that which was 
the great want of Rome, as of all the commonwealths of antiquity, 
an independent middle class. Besides all other hindrances, 
the fatal institution of slavery prevented that expansion of 
free industry on which such a class is based. The rich grew 
richer : the poor grew poorer : distress and debt gave a new im- 
pulse to j)olitical agitation. The nobles made new attempts to 
regain the ground they had lost. The privileges of the plebeians 
were not finally secured without repeated conflicts from time to 
time; and the Publilian Law, giving legislative weight to the 

* Ut PlehiscUa omnes QuirUes tenereni. 


resolutions of tlie plebs, which, as we have seen, was itself but 
the re-enactment of one of the Yalerian and Horatian Laws of 
B.C. 449, was again re-enacted by the dictator Q. Hortensius, in 
B.C. 286, after the last secession which the plebeians made to the 
Janicnlum, under the impulse, like the first secession, of the 
pressure of their debts. This Hortensian Law, which was passed 
only a few years before the war with Pyrrhus, is always referred 
to as that which confeiTed the legislative power on the Comitia 
Tributa. The Lex Msenia, re-enacting the other Publilian Law, — 
that the patricians should give their previous assent to the acts of 
the Comitia Centuriata, — was probably passed in e.g. 287. 

Thus the final settlement of the popular constitution may be 
regarded as about contemporary with the epoch of Rome's complete 
dominion over Italy. From that epoch foreign wars and conquests, 
varied by the one great straggle for the very existence of the re- 
public, followed one another with a rapidity which fully occupied 
men's minds, while the conquered territory, had it been fairly ap- 
portioned, furnished ample means for providing against the chief 
causes of discontent. At length there came a pause in the career 
of conquest, when Rome had become mistress of Carthage, Mace- 
donia, Greece, and the richest part of Asia Minor ; and the people 
had leisure. to enquire which of the orders had gained the lion's 
share. The troubles under the Gracchi broke out in the very year 
in which Attains, King of Pergamus, bequeathed the province of 
Asia to the Romans (b.c. 133). But the intervening period of 
more than a century was almost entirely free from civil dissensions. 
Still, it must not be supposed that the division of feeling between 
the orders was healed. The old patrician houses clung to their 
pride of caste, the more since the offices once their exclusive right 
were " polluted by plebeian filth." The new aristocracy, having 
surmounted the barrier that had shut them out from political power 
were eager in the assertion of their superiority to the commonalty 
of their own order. It was no longer the plebeians, as such, but 
the common people, that were treated as an inferior caste. Thus 
were formed a new aristocracy and a new democracy. But still 
civic equality was secured ; and while public virtue reposed on the 
foundation of simple agricidtural habits, some of the worthiest 
leaders were found among the poor. " The fall of the high-born 
Fabius would not have been more lamented by the whol^ commu- 
nity, than the fall of the plebeian Decius was lamented alike by 
patricians and plebeians ; and a poor husbandman fi-om Sabina, 
Manius Curius, could conquer King Pyrrhus in the field of battle, 


and chase him out of Italy, without ceasing to be a simple Sabine 
farmer, and to cultivate in person the grain which gave him 
bre4d." * 

Returning to the epoch at which Camillus inaugurated the 
concord of the two orders, it remains to trace the steps bv which 
Home overcame the hostility of the smrounding peoples, and 
became the undisputed mistress of all Italy. Of other events, we 
need only notice the stories of famine and pestilence as a natural 
result of the ravages of the Gauls, and the romantic legend of the 
self-devotion of Cm'tius to close the yawning chasm which an 
earthquake had opened in the Forum, as an indication that the 
mythical vein is still to be traced in the Roman annals (b.c. 363). 
Enough has been already said of the conflicts which resulted in 
the subjugation of Southern Etruria and the renewal of the old 
league with the Latins and Hernicans (b.c. 358). The Yolscians 
were still formidable neighbours ; but they were now di'iven back 
from the lowlands of the Campagna, and the Pomptine region was 
made Roman territory, adding two to the number of the tribes. 
Ten years later the treaty with Carthage was renewed, and by it 
Rome was recognized as the mistress of the coast of Latium (b.c. 
348). Two years afterwards, the second celebration of the great 
" Secular Games," — a special festival, held at long intervals in some 
great national crisis,t — formed the prelude to the greatest conflict 
in which Rome had been yet engaged — the Wars icith the Sammies, 
which lasted, with brief intervals, for more than fifty years (b.c. 
343 to 290), involving as an episode the Great Latin War (b.c. 
340 to 338), which ended in the complete subjugation of Latium 
to Rome. Livy has marked this epoch as that li'om which the 
historian has to write of wars greater than any before, both in the 
strength of the enemy, the remoteness of the scene, and the dura- 
tion of the contest. The contests with the Yolscians and ^quians 
had been defensive wars against tribes chiefly formidable for their 
near neighbourhood ; and the victories gained in them scarcely 
enlarged the territory of the republic. But now large armies 
encountered each other on both sides, well matched in arms, 
discipline, com'age, and heroic perseverance. Xor were the Sani- 
nites much inferior to the Romans in the political virtues which 
give a nation a distinguished place in history ; their chief weakness 

* Mommsen's History of Rome, vol. L pp. 313, 314. For a further discussion of the 
social and political state of Rome in the fourth and third centuries B.C., the reader is 
referred to the third chapter of the second book of Dr. Mommsen's work. 

f See the article Ludi Sceculares in the Dictionary of Antiquities. 


was fliat their tribes w&e not united into one compact state. It 
VK now to be decided, whicli of the two great races of Central Italy 
should gain the snpzemacy in the peninsnla. The defeat of the 
Sanmites left Borne withont a liTal among the Italian nations, and 
bmd^ the addition of a mostTalnable territoiy, gave her the first 
step towards the conquest of the world. And though the field on 
wfaidi the Samnite Ware woe waged seems narrow in comparison 
with the vast oiterpriees of later years, never was Home engaged 
in a oonjflict more int^^^ting for the heroic valonr displayed both 
by her sons and by her ^lemies. 

The SATfviTES were a branch of ihe Sabine nation, who had 
sefMurated thansdvi^ fiom the parrait race, and moved southward 
to the manntains betwerai Campania, Lucania, and Apulia. Th eir 
own legends connected thdr migration with the Sabine custom of 
the Saeied Spring.* A vow made by the nation during a war 
with die Umbiians, dedicating to the gods the years offspring, 
both of man and beast, had hewL violated in part by keeping back 
the children, when the cattle were other sacrificed or redeemed ; 
and ibej were vidted by a dearth. So all the youth of that year 
weze devoted to the god Mamers (Mars) : and, as soon as they 
reached the mHitaiT age. they wexe sent forth to seek new abodes. 
A bnll appeared to gnide them on their way, and it first lay down 
to rest whea they leadhed the land of the Opicans. The 
wandeiczs ace^ted the sign, offered the bull in sacrifice to 
Mamas, and drove out the Opicans, whose scattered villages gave 
tbeok no lefoige oretr(Higfaold.f The historical fact thus indicated 
is the sabjngation of tibe sonthon Opican highlanders by their 
hardier kinanoi of the Sabine mountains. The date of the migra- 
ti<m hSh dnring the regal period of !Rome. 

In this moontain region, between the head waters of the Yul- 
tmnuB on the one &de and the streams that fiow into the Adriatic 
<m the other, the Samnite were pent up for a time by more 
powerfid nei^ibonrB, who held the lowlands and the coast to the 
east, west, and sonth. The Grec^ and Etruscans kept their 
groimd in Gainpania, the Daohians in Apulia,^ and the Lucanians 
in the great sonthon plain. But the decline both of the Etms- 

* See p. 172. 

■jj- The boH was ^ae denoe of the gaimnitiftR, a& ihe wolf was of tbe Eomajis. A 
earn slivdc bgr Ae fiaKms draii^ Ae gteat Eodbd War (blc 90 — 88) represents a 
ImdI gora^ a wol£ 

% ^he **-— ^~ tomi of Arpi, viih iSa port «f fialqib, had beeome a flomishmg 
, and VBB an iiiiw ^ai it rfly of die Bomns in die Satmrai/^ Waia. 



cans and the Greeks, during the latter part of the fourth century 
B.C., invited the Samnites to the beautifol bays of the Mediterra- 
nean. Capua, the capital of the mixed race called Campaniana, 
amongst whom the Etruscans predominated, was taken by thefn 
in B.C. 424, and they wrested Cumae from the Greeks four years 
later (b.c. 420), Their inroads upon the Greeks were greatly 
aided by the simultaneous progress of the Lucanians and Brut- 
tians ; and their power rapidly spread from sea to sea. But it 
was wanting in that firm hold on the conquered cities, which 
characterized the progress of the Bomans in Latium and southern 
Etruria. ]S^ot only did the Greek cities remain Greek under the 
Samnite rule, but towns essentially Sanmite became Hellenized, 
in constitution as well as in manners. Their language was devel- 
oped by Greek influence into greater delicacy and clearness, 
though they preserved their own alphabet, instead of abandoning 
it for the Greek, like the Lucanians and the Bruttians. The 
fragments of beautifally painted pottery, and the ornaments of 
gold and amber, found in their tombs, attest at once their fondneaa 
for Greek art, and their departure from the simpKcity of their 
ancestors. An influence still more injurious to the hardihood of 
the nation was bequeathed, as a fatal legacy, by their Etruscan 
predecessors in Campania. Capua, which seemed worthy to vie 
with Rome for the supremacy of Italy, fell into that deep debase- 
ment of mingled sensuality and cruelty, which marks the last 
stage in the decline of an oligarchy. It was here that the shows 
of gladiators were so eagerly gloated over, as to form part of the 
amusements of banquets ; and the martial spirit of the Campa- 
nian youth only survived to make them notorious as soldiers of 
fortune in Italy and especially in Sicily. Thus there came about 
a wide division between the Campanians and the Samnites of the 
highlands, who had preserved the hardy manners of the old stock, 
and who now formed the efiective Samnite confederacy. The 
latter even treated their more civilized kinsmen as enemies, like 
the Greeks and the Etruscans ; and it was the application of the 
Samnites of Campania for help from Rome that led to the J^rst 
/Samnite War (b.c. 343), 

The story of this war in the Roman annals is a tissue of 
exaggerations and improbabilities. The Sidicini of Teanmn, a 
city in the north-west of Campania, being attacked by the Sam- 
nites, appKed for aid to Capua : and the two cities united in 
seeking the protection of Rome from the forces that threatened to 
overwhelm them both. The successes of the Romans against the 


Yolscians liad already brought them into contact with the Sam- 
nites on the Liris, and the two states had proved their respect for 
each other's strength by a treaty (b.c. 354), The Eomans, there- 
fore, at first rejected the petition of the Campanians ; but the 
offer of the rich city of Capua — which was ahready besieged by 
an overpowering Samnite army — proved a temptation too great 
for their good faith, and both consuls were sent into Campania. 
At the foot of Mount Gaurus, Yalerius Corvus obtained a victory 
w'hich was hailed as an omen of future triumphs over all the 
enemies of Rome ; and his colleague, Cornelius Cossus, was 
equally successful, after his army had been rescued from annihila- 
tion in a narrow pass by the courage of the military tribune, 
Pubhus Decius. The fabulous character of this victory may be 
inferred from the failure of the consuls to penetrate into Sam- 
nium ; and as little credit is due to the third and decisive victory 
at the "Caudine Forks" near Suessula, where 40,000 Samnite 
shields were picked up on the field of battle. Campania was how- 
ever wrested from the Samnites, and part of the Koman army 
remained in winter quarters, to guard the most important 

This prolongation of foreign service through the winter brought 
to a climax the discontents which were rife both in the army 
and in the city, because of the continued pressure of debt upon 
the commons. The political crisis that followed is related in two 
different accounts, the one making it a mutiny of the army, the 
other a secession of the plebeians at home. The common story 
attempts to reconcile both in the following manner. Surrounded 
by the delights of that exquisite climate, and with all the wealth 
of the Campanian cities before their eyes, the Roman soldiers 
might well be tempted to revive the project formerly entertained at 
Veil, and to made Capua the chief city of a new plebeian state. 
An attempt was made to anticipate the revolt by sending large 
detachments home. The first body had reached the pass of Lau- 
tulse, near Tarracina, when they broke out into open mutiny, and 
the flame spread through all the garrisons of Campania. The 
legions mustered at Capua, and advanced in a body towards Rome. 
On their march they released the debtors whom they found work- 
ing as bondsmen in the fields. With their numbers thus swollen '^ 
to 20,000 men, they fortified a camp on the Alban hills, and began M 
to plunder the country. The commons in the city now marched 
forth to a post about four miles from the walls ; and each party of 
insurgents forced a patrician to become their leader. 



With their old mixture of firmness and moderation, the senate 
created a dictator, but the office was conferred on the greatest 
favourite of the commons, M. Yalerius Corvus, who, though not 
yet tliirty years of age, had ah'eady been three times consul, and 
was now in all the glory of his late campaign against the Samnites.* 
The dictator went out against the mutineers, with the clients of 
the patricians and such other citizens as remained faithful to the 
government ; but the time was not yet come when Romans could 
meet one another in civil war. No sooner did the two armies stand 
front to front, than they rushed into each other's arms. An act 
of amnesty to the revolters was passed ; and a pledge was given to 
the soldiers that those once enlisted should not be struck off' the 
roll without their own consent, and that a man who had held the 
ofiice of military tribune should not be required to serve as a cen- 
turion. The military tribunes were for the most part plebeians ; 
and this would be a sort of security for their dignity. The politi- 
cal crisis was ended by the Genucian Laws, as they were called 
fi'om their proposer, the tribune Caius Genucius. As the frequent 
re-elections to the consulate had tended to limit the actual powers 
of government to a few great families,f it was enacted that no one 
should be re-elected to the same magistracy till after an interval of 
ten years. Both consulships were thrown open to the plebeians. 
Lastly, all usury was forbidden, an act which was naturally inop- 
erative. By another law, the existing obligations of insolvent 
debtors were cancelled, and all citizens who had become bonds- 
men {nexi) to their creditors were released, — a measure justified 
by the absolute necessities of the commons (b.c. 342). Amidst 
the confused accounts of the foreign relations of Rome during 
these political convulsions, all that can be certainly made out is, 
that the growing disaffection among the Latins was a chief cause 
of the willingness of the Romans to come to terms with the Sam- 
nites. A peace was made, by which Teanum was given to the 
Samnites, and Capua to the Romans ; and the two nations formed 
a clo^e alliance (b.c. 341). 

The following year saw a strange inversion of the recent posi- 
tion of the different nations. In the Geeat Latest "War the 
Romans and Samnites were ranged against the Latins and the 

* Altogether M. Valerius was six times . consul : in B.C. 348, 346, 343, 335, 300, 
and 299 ; and twice dictator, in b.c. 342 and 301. He was twenty-three years old at the 
time of his first consulship. 

■)• This apphes to the plebeians as well as the patricians. The plebeian consul for 
this very year, Q. Marcius Rutilus, held the oflSce for the fourth time. 


Campanians. The annals are still confused and inconsistent ; and 
a refusal of the claim of the Latins to a share in the consulship — 
that is, by implication, to the full privileges of citizenship,* — is 
alleged as the immediate cause of a revolt which seems to have 
been, in fact, a great confederacy of Latins, Volscians, and Cam- 
panians, to resist the domination alike of Rome and of the Sam- 
nites. Even the Latin cities most closely connected witli Rome — 
like Tusculum, which had received the franchise — joined in the 
revolt, and the noble houses of Rome and Latium, long connected 
by personal ties and marriages, were ranged against each other, as 
if in a civil war. But the Roman colonies in Latium remained 
faithful, and the aristocratic party in Campania took part with 
the Romans, doubtless to preserve their political ascendancy. Nor 
did the Hernicans desert their old alliance. It was a great deci- 
sive conflict for supremacy in Latium and Campania ; and the 
Roman senate and people, their consuls and then* armies, proved 
worthy of the crisis. The consuls of the year were T. Manlius 
Torquatus, who had won the golden collar from the Gallic giant, 
and P. Decius Mus, who had saved an army in the First Samnite 
War. The war began in Campania, by an attempt of the con- 
federates to dislodge the Samnites from Teanum and the other 
territory they had won. The Romans made a circuit through the 
territories of the Marsians and Peligniansf to join the Samnites, 
and the hostile armies came in sight of each other before Capua. 
It was here that Titus Manlius, the consul's son, was beheaded by 
his father's order, for engaging an enemy in single combat, in dis- 
obedience to the strict injunction of the consuls against all skir- 
mishing. The consul's cruelty was execrated, but the discipline 
of the army was saved. The scene of the first great battle is laid 
at the foot of Mount Yesuvius. The night before the engage- 
ment, it was revealed to both consuls in a dream, that the gods 
had doomed to destruction the general on the one side, and the 
army on the other. They agreed that whichever of them first saw 
his division wavering should devote himself to death in the form 
prescribed by the chief pontiff. It fell to the lot of the plebeian 
consul to perform the act of self-devotion. The Romans and 
Latins were drawn up over against each other, equal in discipline 

* Civitas Optimo jure. 

f It is thus that the annalists attempt to explain a Strategic movement which would 
seem to have been impossible when all Latium was in arms. Modem critics doubt 
whether the campaign was anything more than a successful efifort of the Roman garrisons 
in Campania to extricate themselves from their isolation. 


and tactics, and — in spite of Li\'7's arrogant assertion of the con- 
trary — not differing in courage ; the Samnites and Hernicans were 
opposed to the kindred nations of the Campanians and Yolscians. 
The Roman right, commanded by Manlius, firmly held its ground ; 
but the left no sooner began to Avaver, than Decins called for the 
chief pontiff Yalerius, and, having repeated after him the formula 
by which he offered his own life to Janus, Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus, 
Bellona, the Lares, and all the gods of his fatherland and of the 
dead, if they would strike terror and dismay into the enemy and 
cause them to share his fate, with his toga wrapt about his head in 
sacrificial folds,* he mounted his horse, and rushed into the 
thickest of the Latin army, among whom the well-known rite 
would spread a religious terror. But the fall of Decius did not 
at once decide the conflict ; and the Romans had begun again to 
waver, when Torquatus secured the victory by a masterly use of 
his reserves ; and the Latins, who had exhausted theirs, were cut 
down almost without resistance. ISTearly three-fourths of their 
army were slain or taken prisoners. The annalists are silent 
about the share of the Samnites in the victory.f The conquerors 
were too exhausted to pursue the enemy, who rallied at Mintumae 
on the Latin side of the Liris, and advanced again to Mount 
Massicus. After both armies had received reinforcements, a second 
and decisive victory was gained at Trifanmn by the consul Manlius, 
who then overran and plundered Latium. Most of the Latin 
cities were subdued and deprived of their lands (b.c. 340). In 
the following year, they tried the fortune of war once more, and 
were defeated by the consul and dictator Publilius, the same who 
proposed the celebrated laws in favour of the plebeians (b.c. 339). 
The cities that still held out, both of the Latins and the Volscians, 
were reduced in a third campaign. The Latin confederacy was 
dissolved, and the new settlement of Latium was conducted on the 
principle of isolating the several cities, which were no longer 
allowed freedom of marriage or of commerce with one another. 
The full Roman franchise was restored to Tusculum and granted 
to Lanuvium ; their lands were incorporated with the territory of 
the republic, and two new tribes were formed. Other Latin cities 

* The cindus Gabinus, the form in which the toga was worn by a sacrificing priest. 

f Dr. Arnold makes the apposite remark, that of this part of the battle " there 
was no Samnite historian to tell, and no Roman annalist would tell truly. Nor 
need we wonder at this ; for if we had only certain English accounts of the battle of 
Waterloo, who would know that the Prussians had any effectual share in that day's 
victory ? " 


received a restricted franchise as Eoman municipia. Tibur and 
Prgeneste, which had become the most powerful cities of the 
Leao-ue, and had taken a leading part in the war, were compelled 
to cede portions of their territory to Rome, but were allowed a 
nominal independence. The walls of Yelitrse were demolished, 
and its principal citizens deported to Etruria. Colonies were 
settled in Antium and others of the chief Yolscian towns. The 
Campanian cities were reduced to dependence upon Rome. The 
most important conquest yet made by the republic was eonmiem- 
orated by the erection of the statue of Caius Maenius, consul 
and dictator for the last year of the war, in the Forum, and by 
the decoration of the platform, from which orators addressed the 
people when assembled there, with the beaks taken from the sur- 
rendered galleys of the Antiates. Hence it was that the platform 
received the memorable name of Rostra.* 

The vast importance of this war consists in its fusion of the 
Latin nationality into one powerful state under the city which 
had made good its claim to the supremacy. That this should 
have been effected by a temporary coalition between the Romans 
and the Samnites is a striking indication of the means by w^hich 
the course of the world's history is governed. The Sanmite 
alliance could never have furnished a secure basis for the union 
of Italy. Dr. Arnold has well said that between that people and 
the Romans " the struggle could end in nothing short of absolute 
dominion on one side, and subjection on the other. The Sam- 
nites were complete foreigners, remote in point of distance, with 
a different language and different institutions ; they and the 
Romans were not likely to form one people, and neither were 
willing to be the other's mere subjects. But between Rome and 
Latium nature had given all the elements of union; and the 
peculiar circumstances of the Latins precluded that mischievous 
national pride which has sometimes kept two nations apart, when 
nature, or rather God speaking in nature, designed them to be 
one. Had Latium been a single state, like Rome, neither party 
would willingly have seen its distinct nationality merged in that 
of the other ; but the people of Tusculum or Lanuvium felt no 

* The rostra formed a sort of long gallery, with parapets, raised on arches between 
the comiiium, or upper part of the Fonim, which was the meeting-place of the curias, 
and the forum proper, where the tribes met, so that an orator could turn to either 
division ; but its front, to which the ronlra were affixed, was towards the comitium. 
Its length allowed an orator to walk backwards and forwards while speaking. The 
origin of the word shows the absurdity of the modem corruption rostrum. 


patriotic affection for the names of Tiber or Pr^neste ; they were 
as ready to become Romans as Tiburtians; and the one' or the 
other they must be, for a mass of little states, all independent of 
each other, could not be kept together ; the first reverses, appeal- 
ing to the sense of separate interest in each, inevitably shattered 
it to pieces. Those states that received the full Roman franchise 
became Romans, yet did not cease to be Latins ; the language 
and the manners of their new country were their own. They were 
satisfied with their lot, and the hope of arriving in time at the 
same privileges was a prospect more tempting even to the other 
states than anything which they were likely to gain by renewed 
hostilities." * But the full establishment of these relations was 
of course a work of time. The fij'st natural dissatisfaction found 
vent in the revolt of Privemum, the story of which is expanded 
by the annalists into an interesting romance. The Roman citizens 
settled on its forfeited lands and on the Falernian territory in 
Campania were formed into two new tribes (b.c. 318) ; and the 
strong colonies of Cales (b.c. 334) and Fregellse (b.c. 328) were 
planted in the Campanian plain, and at the passage of the Liris. 
" Rome pursued her purpose with undeviating steadfastness, and 
displayed her energetic and far-reaching policy, more even than 
on the battle-field, in the secm'ing of the territory which she 
gained by enveloping it in a political and military net whose 
meshes could not be broken." f 

The conquest of Latium and northern Campania, coinciding 
with the renewed concord of the orders under the Publilian Laws, 
and followed by peace with the Gauls (b.c. 335), formed a new 
starting-point for the extension of the Roman power. At the 
same epoch events were taking place in a distant part of the 
world, which throw another stream of light on the Supreme 
Ruler's direction of the course of human history. The year of 
the dissolution of the Latin confederacy was also that of the battle 
of Chaeronea (b.c. 338). The question seemed to be fairly raised, 
whether the supremacy of the Italo-Hellenic race was reserved 
for the conquerors of Latium or the subjugator of Greece. A 
very few years later, Philip's kinsman, Alexander of Epirus, 
crossed over into Italy to aid the Greeks of Tarentum against the 
Lucanians and Samnites, and the Romans made an alliance with 
him. His expedition, after some successes, ended in his defeat 

* Arnold, History of Rome, vol. ii. pp. 165, 166. 
f Mommsen, History of Rome, vol. i. p. 369. 
VOL. II. — 19 


and death in the battle of Pandosia (b.c. 326). Meanwhile, his 
great namesake was in the full tide of that wonderful career, 
wliich promised to unite all the resources of the East for the sub- 
jugation of the Western world. Among the nations which con- 
fessed the probable result, by the homage they hastened to pay to 
the conqueror at Babylon, were not only the maritime Carthagi- 
nians and Tyrrhenians, but also the Lucanians and Bruttians, 
whose embassy the Samnites may not improbably have joined. 
The actual relations of these peoples to the Romans furnished a 
ready pretext for intervention in Italy ; and the power which was 
all but crushed by the Samnites had ;io prospect of resisting the 
might of Alexander. It seems strange that the Roman annalists 
make no allusion to the imminence of the danger which was 
averted by Alexander's death. Their attention was probably 
absorbed by the great contest of the Second Samntte Wak, which 
broke out three years before that epoch (b.c. 326), and only ended 
in B.C. 304, three years before the decision of the quarrels of the 
Diadochi at the battle of Ipsus. Well was it for Rome that the 
generals of Alexander were thus occupied during her greatest 
struggle in Italy. 

The subjugation of Latium left the Romans and Samnites face 
to face, committed to an inevitable contest for the supremacy of 
Italy. The progress of Rome in Campania could not but rouse 
the jealousy of the Samnites ; and direct causes of complaint were 
found in the colonization of Sora and Fregellae (b.c. 328). But it 
seemed from the beginning, as throughout the whole career of 
Rome, that her enemies were fated to lose the favourable moment 
for attack. It was owing partly to the war with Alexander of 
Epirus and the Greek cities, and partly to the uncertain policy of 
their confederacy, that the Samnites stood by while the Romans 
conquered Campania. 

The great conflict, which was sure to have been fought out 
sooner or later, began from a collision of Rome with a Greek 
community. The cities of Magna Graecia had now been all 
but politically extinguished by the attacks of the Etruscans, 
Samnites, and Lucanians, and the blows inflicted on them by a 
Greek, Dionysius of Syracuse. Almost the last that retained 
their independence were the twin cities of Palsepolis and Neapolis 
{the Old and New City), of which the latter has perpetuated its 
name to the present day in Naples {Napoli). They were founded 
by the Cumseans on the site of an older city which was named 
after the nymph Parthenope, an appellation fondly preserved by 

B.C. 327.] WAR WITH PAL^POLIS. 291 

the Roman poets ; * and the distinction between the Old and Hiew 
City is believed to have dated from the time when the colony gave 
a refuge to the people of the mother city on the capture of Cumse 
by the Samnites. Palaepolis f became involved in a quarrel with 
the Eoman settlers in the recently allotted territory of Capua 
(b.c. 327). The Roman annalists tell how, on a herald being sent 
to demand satisfaction, the Greeks, like a people valiant only with 
the tongue, returned an insulting answer. They relied on the 
support of the Samnites, who, as the Romans soon learnt, were 
sending troops (or, as they themselves admitted, volunteers) to 
their aid, and tampering with the subject cities. So, while the 
two consuls marched against Palaepolis, heralds were sent to 
demand satisfaction of the Samnites. They were met by recrimi- 
nations and a challenge to fight out their quarrels on the plains 
of Campania. The Roman herald replied that the Senate and 
people would send their armies where they pleased, and the 
consul L. Cornelius Lentulus, at once crossed the frontier of 

Meanwhile, his distinguished plebeian colleague, Q. Publilius 
Philo, lay encamped between Palaepolis and JSTeapolis so as to cut 
off their communication, when his year of office came to an end. 
To enable him to finish the campaign, the Senate prolonged his 
command under the title, afterwards so famous, of Pkoconsul 
(i.e. pro cwisule, in place of the consul). He took Palaepolis, in 
which there was a Samnite garrison, and received the voluntary 
submission of !N"ea^olis (b.c. 326). The Sabellian cities of southern 
Campania, though at first disposed to side with the Samnites, 
were ultimately gained over to Rome through their aristocracies ; 
and a vital breach was made in the Italian cause by the defection 
of the Lucanians to the Roman alliance. This people, as soon as 
the death of Alexander of Epirus had removed the pressing 
necessity for their alliance with the Samnites, chose rather to 

* As, for example, in the celebrated lines : — 

" Illo Vergilium me tempore dulcis alebat 
Parthenope, studiis florentem ignobilis otL" 

•}• " Dionysius, in all his account of these affairs, makes mention only of Neapolis ; 
the name of PalaepoUs does not once occur in his narrative. In the Roman story, 
Palaepolis holds the more prominent place ; for no other reason, apparently, than because 
Palaepolis was conquered by force, and enabled PubliUus to obtain the honour of a 
triumph, while Neapolis entered into a friendly treaty with Rome. But Palaepolis 
must really have been a very insignificant place ; for it followed almost as an infallible 
rule, that whenever a new town {Neapolis) was founded in a more advantageous situa- 
tion, the old town {Palcepolis) went to decay." — Arnold's History of Rome, vol. ii. p. 
186 (note). 


devote all their resources to an attack upon Tarentum, than to 
play a secondary part in the war with Eome. The Apulians took 
the same course ; and, instead of the opportunity being seized 
for a great confederacy of the Italians against Rome, the Sam- 
nites were left to bear the brunt of the war almost without allies. 
The Lucanians, however, afterwards changed sides. 

The Geeat Sa^entte War began in b.c. 326 with the advance of 
the two consuls from Capua up the valley of the Yultumus. They 
took some towns in Samniura, but gained no decisive success. 
ISText year, the adhesion of the Yestinians to the Samnite cause at 
once endangered the communications with Apulia, and threatened 
a league of the Sabellian tribes to the north of Samnium. They 
were completely reduced by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus ; but 
the illness of his colleague, L. Furius Camillus, made it necessary 
to appoint a dictator for the conduct of the war in the Samnite 
country. "With his usual fondness for picturesque detail, Livy 
turns aside from the progress of the campaign to relate the quarrel 
between the commander and his deputy. The dictator, L. Papirius 
Cursor, being recalled to Rome by a defect in the auspices, which 
could only be taken afresh in the Roman territory, left his master 
of the horse, Q. Fabius Maximus, with a strict charge to remain 
on the defensive. But Fabius hazarded an engagement, and 
gained a decisive victory. Hastening back to the camp at this 
news, Papirius ordered his disobedient lieutenant to be seized and 
put to death. The soldiers, flushed with the recent victory, inter- 
posed tumultuously to protect Fabius, who Escaped during the 
night to Rome, whither Papirius followed, and gave orders to the 
lictors to arrest him. M. Fabius, the father of the offender, 
invoked the intercession of the tribunes to allow him an appeal to 
the people. It is impossible to believe that the constitution sanc- 
tioned either the tribunicial interference, or that of the Comitia 
Centuriata, against the dictator's sentence. The tribunes hesitated 
to set so fatal a precedent, and the people found an escape from 
the difficulty by praying the dictator to forgive Fabius. His 
authority being thus saved, the dictator yielded ; and Livy observes 
that discipline was no less firmly established by the peril of Q. 
Fabius than by the death of T. Manlius. The truth is, that the 
act of old Torquatus would not Bear repetition. 

Papirius regained the affections of the soldiers bypersonal atten- 
tions to their welfare, and led them on to successes which were con- 
tinued in the year following, when his dictatorship was prolonged 
instead of the election of consuls (b.c. 324). The following year 


was marked by an armed rising of tlie Tusculans and Privematians 
wlio had already been admitted to all tbe private rights of citizen- 
ship, to obtain the full political franchise.* In the absence of 
both consuls with their armies in Apulia and Samnium, it was 
found necessary to yield ; and the Tusculan leader, L. Fulvius 
Curvus, who had almost sm-prised the city, was elected consul fur 
the succeeding year. This concession to the Latins seems to have 
brought new strength to the arms of Rome ; and the Samnites 
were reduced to sue for peace. They sent back all their prisoners, 
with the body of Brutulus Papius, the leader of the war party, 
who had put himself to death rather than be given up alive. But 
all this was nothing so long as they refused to be the subject allies 
of Rome (b.c. 322). 

The Samnites renewed the war with the desperation of a brave 
people driven to extremities, and chose for their commander C. 
Pontius, of Telesilla, whose generalship earned the title of the 
Samnite Hannibal, while he was far superior to the Carthaginian 
in generosity and culture. The Samnite nobles were brought 
within the influence of Greek learning, particularly at Tarentum, 
and the father of C. Pontius is said to have held philosophical con- 
versations, not only with Archytas, but with Plato himself. He 
was probably, as Arnold observes, more advanced in cidtivation of 
mind than any Roman general of that age ; and we shall soon see 
how far he surpassed the whole Roman people in generosity and 
good faith. He had to defend Samnium against the united Roman 
armies, as the insurrection in Apulia had been subdued. But, 
just as the campaign was about to open, he spread a report that the 
whole force of the Samnites had marched into Apulia, to besiege 
Luceria. The consuls, Titus Yeturius and Spurius Postiunius, who 
were already in Campania, resolved to march to the scene of action 
across the whole Samnite territory, a plan rash enough had the 
news been true, and doubtless adopted for the sake of expedition. 
They entered the first rampart of the Apennines by the pass of the 
"Caudine Porks" (so named fi-om the village of Caudium), now 
called the valley of Arpaia, on the road from Xaples to Benevento. 
The pass is of a form very common at the entrance to chains of 
mountains. A watery meadow, enclosed on all sides by steep 
wooded hills, is entered from below and from above by deep defiles. 
The surrounding woods afibrded an ambush to the whole Samnite 
army, which the Romans believed to be on the other side of the 
Apennines. "Without resistance or suspicion, they passed up the 

* The siiffragium aad Jvonores. 


lower defile into the grassy mead ; but on reaching the upper pass, 
they found it blocked by felled trees, and guarded by a strong 
force. Meanwhile the entrance to the valley was occupied in the 
same manner ; the Samnites closed on every side about the belea- 
guered foe, and inflicted on them a disastrous defeat. The fall of 
night saved the Romans from destruction, and the Samnites retired 
to the hills, guarding every track and repulsing every sally of the 
enemy. Famine soon drove the Romans to surrender ; they placed 
their lives and liberty at the mercy of the victors, only praying 
that their bodies might be saved from insult. In his eagerness to 
seize the opportunity for an honourable peace, Pontius overlooked 
the advantage of detaining them as prisoners of war and finishing 
the negociations at Rome. He trusted that terms made with the 
consuls would bind the senate and people ; and the consuls raised 
no doubt of the ratification of their acts. Not one of the sacred 
heralds was present with the Roman army, as the Samnites were 
to have been conquered and not treated with ; but the moderate 
terms imposed by the victors were sworn to not only by the consuls 
and the surviving military tribunes, but by two of the tribunes of 
the plebs, who might well be regarded as the special representa- 
tives of the people. Those terms were the razing of the fortresses 
of Cales and Fregellse, and the restoration of the equal alliance 
between the two nations. Six hundred knights were kept as 
hostages. All the other soldiers, even the consuls, were stripped 
of their arms and armour ; and, clothed only with the sort of kilt 
called campestre, they marched out of the valley beneath the 
"yoke," an indignity which was the common fate of captive armies. 
So far from showing any unusual insolence to the vanquished, 
Pontius generously provided the army with all necessary supplies, 
and with carriages for the wounded, till they crossed the Liris. 
The Campanians remained faithful to the Romans in their misfor- 
tune, supplying all their wants, and placing their own lictors and 
fasces at the disposal of the consuls. In deep dejection the troops 
marched on to Rome, where they dispersed to their homes in the 
country, or stole into the city by night. The consuls were received 
with the signs of a public mourning ; all public and private festi- 
vals were suspended, and the only business transacted was the 
election of new consuls, under the presidency of an interrex, after 
the nomination of a dictator had been twice set aside by the augurs. 
The election fell upon men who had already rendered the greatest 
services to the state, Q. Publilius Philo and L. Papirius Cursor. 
On the meeting of the senate to decide upon the recent treaty, 


the late consul, Sp. Postumius, was the first to propose that its 
ratification should be refused, and that himself and his colleague, 
with the military tribunes who had sworn to it, should be given 
up to the Samnites, to abide the consequences of having exceeded 
their powers. The senators at once accepted the sacrifice, though 
most of them had doubtless relatives among the six hundred 
hostages whose fate must now be considered as sealed. Stripped 
as when they had passed under the yoke, and with their hands 
bound behind them, the victims were delivered up to the Samnites 
by a herald ; and, as soon as the surrender was made, Postumius 
smote the herald with his knee, exclaiming, ''I now belong to 
the Samnites,* and I have done violence to the sacred person of a 
Roman herald and ambassador. Ye will rightfully wage war with 
us, Eomans, to avenge this outrage." The superstitious device, 
by which the grossest breach of faith was placed under the sanc- 
tion of religion, was scorned by Pontius. Having refused to 
accept the surrender, and ironically demanded that the Roman 
army should be placed where it was at the capitulation, he gave 
back the prisoners to the herald. By keeping the six hundred 
hostages uninjured, Pontius threw still more completely upon the 
Romans the whole responsibility of their breach of faith. Striking 
as is the contrast between his magnanimity and their treachery, it 
is clear that he had committed a grave political error in expecting 
such a treaty to be ratified. Moderate as were its terms, the 
circumstances under which it was made were too humiliating to 
leave a doubt that it would be evaded on any pretext that could 
be found ; and the consuls had in fact usurped a power which 
belonged only to the civil authorities. There can be little doubt 
that they did this with the set purpose of the treaty's being repu- 
diated, and that the senate and people adopted their treacherous 
artifice. The treaty was one of that sort which, if ratified, must 
have been torn to pieces on the first prospect of a successful re- 
newal of the war; but this does not excuse the hypocritical 
perfidy of the whole transaction. The rejection of the treaty was 
at once a political necessity, and a proof that political necessity 
was henceforth the only rule of Roman honour. The war was 
renewed with all the exasperation arising from the humiliation 
and conscious wrong of the one party, and the indignant disap- 
pointment of the other (b.c. 320). 

Before the Romans were in a condition to take the field, Pontius 

* That is, as a surrendered person (dediiits), who had lost all rights of citizenship at 


had exeo-Qted what he had before pretended, the capture of Ln- 
ceria. But the scale was soon turned bv Papirins Cnrsor, who 
i«took Lneeria, with the six hnndred hostages and all the Eoman 
arms and standards, and passed 7000 Samnite captives half-nated 
under the vcke. This complete reversal of the disaster of the 
Oaudine Forks is doubtless an exaggeration of the annalists, with 
whom Papirins is a veritable hero of romance, '" His remark- 
able swiftness of foot, his gigantic strength, his enormous capa- 
cities for food, and the iron strictness of his discipline, accom- 
panied as it was by occasional touches of rough humour, all 
contributed to make his memory popular, somewhat in the same 
way as Richard Coeur de lion has been admired amongst us ; and 
his countrymen boasted that he would have been a worthy cham- 
pion to have fought against Alexander the Great, if Alexander 
had ever invaded Italy." * In spite of all exaggeration, however, 
the Romans had an almost uninterrupted current of success for 
the first three years of the renewed war, chiefly in recovering the 
places around Samnium, which had been lost by the Caudine 
disaster, till a truce was made with the Samnites for two years 
(b.c. 31St. 

The renewal of the war was attended with Samnite success 
and defections among the allies, which imperilled the Roman 
eanse in Campania and on the upper course of the Liris. But the 
lost ground was recovered by the military energy of Rome and 
her policy in binding some of the cities by favourable treaties, 
as in the case of Xola, and terrifying others by severe examples, 
as when two hundred of the chief citizens of Fregellae were 
beheaded in the Forum (b.c. 313). By the fifteenth year of the 
•war the Roman domination was completely established in Apulia 
on the one sea and Campania on the other ; and chains of forts 
linked Rome with the Adriatic, severing Upper from Lower 
Italy. Campania was connected with the capital by the first of 
those magnificent roads, which still form the most enduring 
monmnent of Rome's greatness through the whole extent of her 
vast CTopire. The name of the censor Appius Claudius Csecus (the 
Blind) is immortalized by the Yia Apj/ia. which he constructed 
fiom Rome to Capua, carrying it through the Pomptine marshes 
on an embankment (b.c. 312j. The road was afterwards pro- 
longed to Bnmdisium, and became the great highway for traveller 
fix>m Rome to Greece. It was now evident that Rome was em- 
bradng all Italy within her grasp, and the immense advantages of 

* Jlmotd, Eittonf of Borne, toL n. p. 22€. 


her central position and her consolidated gOTenunent wene jwo- 
dueing their natural fruits. The nations of the north and centre 
awoke to the danger jnst as they were effectually severed from the 
Samnites. The Etruscans, whose forty years' tmce with £oane 
(b.c. 351) had now expired, made a vigorous divoaon hy at- 
tacking the frontier fortress of Sutrium, beneath the waDs of 
which the Homans sustained heavy lo^es imder the consnl 
Q, i-F.mi'liua, while his colleague, C. Junins, was snceessfbl in 
Sanmium (b.c. 311). 

The Etruscan campaign of the following year brought immortal 
honour to the consul Q. Fabius Maximus RuEianus, the same 
whose lite had nearly been forfeited fifteen years before for hk 
disobedience to the dictator Papirius. Finding the lines of tiie 
besiegers round Sutrium t»30 strong to storm, Fabins made an 
advance through the Ciminian forest into the heart of tiie eaaennj's 
country. This movement was the more daring as it left !Bame 
uncovered on the side towards the ITmbrians, whose fidelity was 
but doubtfully secured by the consul's emissaries ; and Fabins is 
said only to have prevented the disapproval of the senate by hfe 
rapid advance. But his boldness was justified by his sncce^, the 
accounts of which, however, vary between a mere predatory incnr- 
sion and the decisive defeat of the united armies of Etroria, in a 
battle the scene of which is placed by some as far up the conntiy 
as Perusia. Thus much is clear, that Fabins gained a great 
victory over the Etruscans at the Tadimonian lake, near wh»e 
the eastern extremity of the Ciminian forest abnts upon the Tiber. 
This battle put an end, for the time, to all danger on the ade of 
Etruria, and several of the most powerfol cities made traces with 
Eome for 300 and 4<)0 months (b.c. 310 — 309). 

The division of the Poman forces, however, enabled tihe Sam- 
nites to inflict a great defeat on the other consul, C. Mardms 
Putilus- When the news reached Pome, the senate turned again 
to Papirius Cursor, and the consul Fabius, to whom a deputatioa 
was sent in Etruria, magnanimously nominated to the dictator- 
ship the man who, in that office, had condemned him to death. 
!N"o consuls were elected- Papirius gained a decisive victory over 
the Samnites, and exhibited, in his splendid triumph on the IStili 
of October, b.c. 309, the insignia which attested the destmction 
of their two sacred bands, who were bound by a vow to oonqoer 
or to die. The one, which held the right wing in battle, woie 
white tunics and carried silvered arms and shields; the odiar bore 
gilded shields and parti-coloured dresses, which, with the lol^ 


phnwtfiR of bodi bands^ suggest; a resoiiblaiioe to the equipments 
of die iSeottish h^ilandkis, in beqping with the Celtie element 
tibadt has heen tntoed in the people of the Um'bro-Samnite stock. 
The last alann at seeii^ the power of the Sanmites cxanpletelj 
laoben roused the kindied peo^ of the north and centre to 
eflSMt£ wMdh would have been c^ffibetoal at the prop^ time. Bnt 
Q. Fabins liaximiis, who was i^ain dected oonnil, led the 
ann^ destined iSar iSanmiiim to the north, and, baring dispersed 
Ihe Umbdans, rooted the Uaisaanf and Pelignians (b.c. oOS). 
The ^Dme year witm^aed the iaR €i !Niieeda, the last city of 
Ckmpania that adhered to the SammteSu Witli Ms eommaiid 
eontinDed as proeoneal, Falsas eompdObd the surrender of a 
fippmiiitii^ army at AIK^pl ^ and, idiile digmiifiidiag the Samnite 
prsaner^ he gave an f^vaiwajJi^. of torror to those disposed to aid 
than by ytJKwg all the other captives as slaTes, esoej>t a number 
of HienneattB, who, as tnutoEB to their alliance with Eomc, -^ere 
placed at the dwyoaal of the senate (sxl 307). Their fate mar 
be iniarred ip&m. Ihe revolt of Anagnia, the chief city of the 
HemieaotB, a diversion which, even thus late, bKOcght a gleam of 
aaoBcaB isr Ihs SamnitieiB. But ^&e rafid advanee of the EKDmans 
under die oqusdI Q. MarchiB Tremnlos droxe the Hemicans not 
cnfy to aeo^t a tmce, bat to finnish the azjooy with tiipj)lies. 
HmnoBS fiamed a janetikm with his ecdleagoe ; the nnit^d armies 
gained a deeisire TietiHy ; and Sanminm was ravaged for nearly 
five nMHstiie {bjC S06). 

TT'OPj^ Tirtnalfy eonqucred, the Sanmites levosged themselv^ 
dorii^ the winter by pcedatory inroads upon Campaiua. Bnt,, 
with the letom of smnmer, both cihisdIs peni^zated fivMu opposite 
sd^ into the heart oi j&anmimn, and ismaaed a junction b^sre 
its dnrf eiiy, BoTiamon. The general, StatiaB Gnellins, was 
defeated and taken prfeoner in a last eaOT^ot to relieve the place, 
die fiJl of wbich ended the rmstanoe o£ the Samnites. The 
battle eoet die life of the eorasol Tiberhas Minncins ; hnt his ene- 
e^BOi^ MareiK Fnlviii^ joined his ooQeagiie L. Postomins in 
itBBOverii^ Ihe towiK latdfy \txA vpim. the liris, the chief of which 
wese iSora and Arpnnm (bxl 305)l It was not, however, tiH the 
eiHitsols of die feOowing year had advaneed again into their 
country that ihe Sammtes sued £«* peace; an example which was 
feilowed by the IfaiyaanR, Pd^mans, and other Sabellian tribes 
diat had been eoraeemed in die war. The tarms granted were in 
affywffdance with Ihe steady bnt nnvindiedve policy of E.oman 
afwgrandifipniiFmt. Ilvy, who seeuK inc^yable of oonoeiving that 

B.C. 298.] THE THEEiJ »AM]SIIE WaB. »• 

an eqnal league amid eror haswe ff^nstpA lie iw«a i llie T?fmimf and 
other peoples, sajs that the cid *IKaBi«y ^nv reetaedlo the Sam- 
nites ; * bat IKifMij^iis mate eoneetlj jqwaaite the S«ii™itiB|t as 
submitting to beeome tihe d^eDdent alliGS oi !Bome. Tlie odta* 
SabeHiaTi tribes wese admitted to an eqnal alKfl m ff p^ ifnae of than 
ceding partioos of thor temfeosj: l%e ddef aeqniations woe 
fi*om the finr&ifeed dnmain osf tibe SJGemiean eitiei^ and fivm Ae 
incorporatioii of tiie toiitoiy of the JEqiiianii^ idbo wore finaify 
subdued, after a braef but fierce stni^^ in bjC. 303. TharlaaA 
foroaedtwoTMewtBhes^i^Am^mssaiATerimtima^Kj^ Bat 

the real gain of Boaoe was &r greater tiian diat of anrjr i v n uU mj. 
The whole power of the Sanmites and tibeir S^ImJKmi allies Ind 
been arrayed against her in Tain. The Etraaeans liad minted in 
the conffict, odIj to prove tibat Some need no longer ftar dieir 
riTalrj. The Lncaniana, ulio m^bt have tamed tibe scale bf m 
hearty eoK]>p0Patiaai with the Sonmitea^ had divided tiie £nee of 
that people 1^ needing gaTtisons to ovaaiie Aem; and tihe 
remoTal of those ganisoas gave the l^nmaBKj t an aaeendan^in 
Lncania which helpe-' zo seeme an advantageoos peace with 

Tarentn TTi .-I- Thus i^ . j .^^ i :He asenmed h^ place as ^se lesM&ig 
power of Italy. 

The defeated nati'jns would not. however, jobmrn to Kome-'s 
supremacy without one last struggle, for which they called in the 
aid of the common enemy, th.e Grauls. A desultO'ty war&re- had 
continued in Etraria and Umbria after the peace with the Sam- 
nites ; and the Ibxtieas of Xeguinn m . on the 2H'ar, was onlj taksi 
after an oibslinate rRsisvtance. A colony, plantai on its ate, umis' 
the name of J^Tamiay &raned tiie key of the pcati<jn where the 
^ar was mossed hjlhe great military road ' T7..: i^,.;/-. ,.',,',.: —''I'j-^h. 
was constructed thioi^ ITmbria, serer—^- : ^ - 

the Etn^eans (bjc: 299). Jnst atthii :: 

crossed the Alps, and, passo^ Arou_ _ ^ 

probably aided by the peo^e, Ml ". ;-. 

They speedily reeroased tibe Ap-^ ' - 

almost destroyed eadb other in a --_._.._; 

meanwhile the Samnites had seiir •: :1 jiitjr to invade 

Lucania, an aet which Idte Bani:> ' ilaxatianof 

war. Tins hegan tibe Thhd aS . -_ ._ Lasted nine 

years (b.c. 29S— 990X 

\ We shall hare occasioii to reiieir Idbe idbtiaBS of Tin iii i i w «i& Bvae is l^ i 



In the first and second campaigns, one Roman army marched 
through Samnium, gained a victory at Bovianum, and pacified 
Lucania ; wliile another army defeated the Etruscans at Volaterrae. 
Separate negociations had ah'eady been commenced between 
Etruria and Rome, when the Samnite general, Gellius Egnatius, 
induced the Etruscans to hold out by ofifering to come to their aid 
in their own country. While leaving one army to continue the 
war in Samnium, and raising another for an invasion of Cam- 
pania, he led the main body of his forces through the Marsian 
and Umbrian territories, and formed a junction with his allies in 
Etruria (b.c. 296). Thus the Romans saw their plans for severing 
northern and southern Italy frustrated ; and they were threatened 
by a new invasion of the Gauls, whom the Etruscans had taken 
into their pay. To join the invaders before they crossed the Apen- 
nines, the forces of the coalition were directed towards TJmbria, and 
thither the Romans marched to meet them with 60,000 men, partly 
recalled from Campania, and partly raised by great efforts at Rome. 
Two armies of reserve were formed, the one under the walls of the 
city, the other at Falerii, to occupy the Etruscans with a diver- 
sion, which succeeded in drawing away the bulk of then* forces 
from the decisive battle. The consuls were the veteran Q. Fabius 
Maxim us Rullianus, and P. Decius Mus, who, abeady rivalling 
his colleague in military reputation, repeated the self-devotion 
of his father, and so decided the great victory of Sentinum 
over the confederates. The Roman left, which had been dis- 
ordered by the war-chariots of the Gauls, rallied at seeing the 
self-sacrifice of the consul ; the Campanian cavalry completed the 
defeat of the Gauls ; and the Samnites on the other wing, already 
weakened by the defection of the Etruscans, gave way after a 
resistance so determined that 9000 Romans were left upon the 
field. Umbria at once submitted : the Gauls dispersed : the Sam- 
nites retreated in good order ; but they were unable to prevent 
the Romans from recovering Campania (b.c. 295). The chief 
Etruscan cities made a truce with Rome for 400 months (b.c. 294). 
The Samnites, resisting with the courage of despair, gained some 
successes in Campania ; but they were again defeated with great 
loss by the consul, L. Papirius Cursor (b.c. 293).* Their general, 
Gellius Egnatius, had fallen in the battle of Sentinum ; and the 
veteran Caius Pontius (or, as some suppose, his son) cast a last ray 
of glory over the Samnite arms by the total defeat of the consul, 
Q. Fabius Maximus Gurges, who made a rash advance from Cam- 
* It is recorded that the first sun-dial was set up at Rome in this year. 


pania into Samnium. Public indignation at Rome suggested tlie 
unprecedented course of deposing Fabius from the consulship ; * 
but his aged father Eullianus interposed his authority bj offer- 
ing to serve as lieutenant under his son, whose life he saved, as 
■well as his reputation, in the decisive battle that ensued. Pon 
tins was taken prisoner with 4000 Samnites, and 20,000 more 
were slain (b.c. 292). 

Quintus Fabius was continued in his command, as proconsul, 
for another year, during which the Samnites prolonged a hopeless 
resistance ; and the first Roman colony was founded in their terri- 
tory, at Yenusia, on the borders of Apulia (b.c. 291). Before the 
close of the summer, the proconsul returned to Rome, and sullied 
his splendid triumph by the cruel revenge he took for his former 
defeat by the great Samnite. The act cannot be better told, or 
more justly judged, than in the words of Dr. Arnold : — 

" While he was borne along in his chariot, according to custom, 
his old father rode on horseback behind him as one of his lieuten- 
ants, delighting himself with the honoui's of his son. But at the 
moment when the consul and his father, having arrived at the end 
of the Sacred Way, turned to the left to ascend the hill of the 
Capitol, C. Pontius, the Samnite general, who with the other 
prisoners of rank had thus far followed the procession, was led 
aside'to the right hand to the prison beneath the Capitoline hill, 
and there was thrust down into the underground dungeon of the 
prison, and beheaded. One year had passed since his last battle ; 
nearly thirty since he had spared the lives and liberty of two 
Roman armies, and, unprovoked by the treachery of his enemies, 
had afterwards set at liberty the generals who were given up into 
his power as a pretended expiation of their country's perfidy. 
Such a murder, committed or sanctioned by such a man as Q. 
Fabius, is peculiarly a national crime, and proves but too clearly 
that in their dealino;s with foreigners the Romans had neither 
magnanimity, nor humanity, nor justice."t 

The war, now virtually at an end, was formally concluded in 
the following year, when both the consuls invaded Samnium. 
The Samnites sued for peace, and were again made the dependent 
allies of Rome. They were subjected to no harsh or humiliating 
terms, nor was their last renewal of the war punished by any loss 
of territory. Too politic to exasperate a brave nation, which ought 

* The only example of such a deposition in the whole course of Roman history is 
the case of Cinna, in the Marian civil wars (b.c. 87). 
f Arnold's History of Rome, vol. ii. p. 365. 


henceforward to be an element of their strength, the Romans 
pursued the wiser course of securing the coasts of both seas, by 
fortresses, such as those of Minturna^ and Sinuessa in Campania 
and Ilatria on the Adriatic, while the strongholds of the Apen- 
nines were penetrated by their great military roads.* The western 
shore of Italy, from the Ciminian forest to Capua, was now 
added to the territory of Rome, and the eastern and southern 
plains were commanded by the outposts of Luceria and Venusia. 
The latter, especially, placed on the confines of Samnium, Apulia, 
and Lucania, and on the high road to Tarentum, served to com- 
mand the south. About this time, too, the Sabines were finally 
conquered, and their lands included in the Roman territory. It 
is not enough to say that Rome was now the first of the Italian 
states ; she already held the supremacy of the peninsula. 

* It waa no doubt at this time that the Via Appia was csontinaed to Venusia. 



B.C. 290 TO B.C. 266. 

" He left a name at which the world grew pale, 
To point a moral, or adorn a tale." — Johnson. 











The last act in Rome's lon^ contest for the supremacy of Italy 
is also the first in the great drama of her conflict with the world. 
" Towards the end of the fifth century of the city, those nations 
which had been raised to supremacy in their respective lands began 
to come into contact in council and on the battle field ; and, as at 
Olympia the preliminary victors girt themselves for a second and 
more serious struggle, so on the larger arena of the nations, Car- 
thage, Macedonia, and Rome now prepared for the final and 
decisive contest." * The conquest of the Samnites had left two 
great Italian nations still unsubdued, the Etruscans in the north 
and the Lucanians in the south. In each quarter, too, there were 
other races which had obtained a footing on the Italian soil. At 
one extremity of the peninsula, the Gauls were ever ready to pom- 
down, not only in predatory incursions on their own account, but 
at the instigation of the Etruscans ; and, at the other, the Greek 

* Mommsen's History of Rome, vol. i. p. 393. 


cities, wLicli might have fallen like ripe fruit into the lap of 
Rome, were too inviting a prej to others not to precipitate a con- 
flict for tlieir possession. It was from this som^ce that Rome 
became involved in fresh wars, first against a new Italian coali- 
tion, and then with her powerful antagonist, Pyrrhus, King of 

The whole of the southern extremity of Italy, — below those 
branches of the Apennines which diverge from the knot formed 
near Yenusia, to the promontory of Minerva {O. Campanella) on 
the west coast, and the lapygian promontory (61 di Leuea) at the 
" heel " of the peninsula — the whole of this region, except the 
possessions of the Greek cities along the coast, ^vas now in the 
possession of two kindred peoples of the Samnite origin, the Luca- 
nians and Bruttians. Their settlement in these regions was the 
consequence of the great and continued movement of the Sabellian 
races to the south, and the Bruttians are said to have separated 
from the Lucanians by an act of rebellion, which obtained for 
them their distinctive name.* The country of the Bruttians ex- 
tended from the Straits of Messina to the little river Laiis (Zao), 
being formed throughout by the last chain of the Apennines ; and 
the people were a "wild race of mountain shepherds, whose char- 
acter and habits have been handed down to the Calabrians. The 
limits of Lucania along the west coast coast were from the Laiis to 
the Silarus, which divided it from Campania. On this side it was 
a highland country, like Bruttium, but east of the Apennines it 
embraced the great plain which lies at the head of the gulf of 
Tarentum. It was thus an agricultural as well as a pastoral 
region, and it was rich in the \Tne,t the olive, and other fruit- 
trees. The vicinity of the Greek cities, while tending greatly to 
civilize the Lucanians, held out to them a prize, to grasp which 
became the leading object of their policy. 

The aid which the Lucanians rendered to Rome in the Samnite 
wars appears to have been purchased by leaving those cities at their 
disposal. But when, on the restoration of peace, they began to 
take possession of the prize, and laid siege to Thuiii, the Greeks 
applied for aid to Rome, just at the Campanians of Teanum and 
Cupua had asked for help against the Samnites. As in that case, 
so in this, the temptation proved irresistible. The Romans set 

* Bruttii or Brettii is explained by the Roman antiquarians to mean rebels in the 
Lucanian language. 

f The luxuriance of the vine in this whole southern region is supposed to have given 
origin to its Greek name (Enoiria., that is, the land of wine. 


little value on the friendsliip of a people wliom the possession of 
Yenusia would enable them to subdue, and commanded them to 
respect the Thurians as the allies of Kome. The spirit of Italian 
independence was once more roused. All that remained of a 
national party among the Samnites were induced to join with the 
Lucanians, Bruttians, and Etruscans in a new confederacy ; and even 
in Tarentum the anti-Eoman party was strong enough to prepare 
to break off the Roman alliance. TThile these preparations were 
going on, the Romans had the wisdom to compose those internal 
dissensions which broke out anew after the Samnite "Wars. It has 
already been related how the last secession of the plebs achieved 
the triumph of their order, which was embodied in the Hor- 
tensian and Mjenian laws ; * and thus the republic presented 
a united front to the last attack of the combined nations of 

The war began in Etruria seven years after the conclusion of 
peace with the Samnites (b.c. 283). AiTctium, the only Etruscan 
city which had reftised to take part with the other states, was 
besieged by the whole force of the confederacy, and by hordes of 
the Gallic Senones, whom they had taken into their pay. The 
new consuls had not yet had time to bring their levies into the 
fieldjf but L. Caecilius Metellus, the consul of the last year and 
now prsetor, was still in Etruria with his army. He hastened to 
the relief of Arretium, and suffered there a most calamitous 
defeat, he himself being slain, with seven military tribunes, and 
13,000 men, and the rest of his army were made prisoners. The 
army was, in fact, cut off by the Senones, who were serving with 
the Etruscans, though they were then at peace with Rome ; and the 
heralds sent to complain of this breach of faith were mm-dered at 
the instigation of the chieftain Britomaris, whose father had fallen 
in the battle. But a signal vengeance was taken by the consul, 
P. Cornelius Dolabella, who was already on his march into 
northern Etruria. On hearing of the disaster at Arretium, he 
turned aside into the territory of the Senones, easily defeated the 
few warriors who were left in the country, and began to devastate 
the land and massacre all who were able to bear arms. The Gauls 
who were with the Etruscan armj^, failing to persuade their allies 
to march upon Rome, returned to defend their country. They 
were met by Dolabella and defeated with immense slaughter, the 
survivors falling by their own hands. The result of the campaign 

* In B.C. 289. See p. 280. 

f At this period the consuls came into oflSce about the middle of ApriL 
TOL. II. — 20 


was nothing less than the utter extinction of the nation of the 
Senones. Their women and children were sold as slaves. Those 
of the people who escaped destruction were driven from the land, 
and probably went to swell the hordes that soon afterwards poured 
down upon Greece and Asia Minor.* Their territory was soon 
occupied by Eoman settlements. 

The first colony was immediately founded at Sena [Senigaglia) ; 
and the Adriatic waters, of which the Tyrrhenians had previously 
been masters, witnessed the presence of a Roman fleet to protect 
the newly acquired coasts, and to prepare against the great attack 
which already threatened them from Epirus. Meanwhile the people 
of Cisalpine Gaul resolved to avenge their brethren's fate ; and the 
great nation of the Boii joined the army of the Etruscans, with 
the design of marching on to another sack of Rome. But the 
consul Gnseus Domitius Calvinus met their united forces at the 
passage of the Tiber, and gained a decisive victory at the Yadi- 
monian lake, which lies near the right bank, a little below the 
confluence of the ISTar. This defeat, in which the flower of the 
Etruscan nation perished, and from which they never recovered, 
concluded the campaigns of the eventful year e.g. 283. In the 
following year, the broken forces of the Gauls and Etruscans 
were again defeated by the consul, Q. JEmilius Papus, and the 
Boians concluded a separate peace with Rome (b.c. 282). 

The desultory warfare, which the Etruscans maintained for two 
years more, did not hinder the Romans from devoting their almost 
undivided attention to the south. Their small auxiliary force had 
been content hitherto to maintain itself at Thurii against the 
Lucanians and Bruttians; but now the consul, C. FABRicros 
Luscmus, who has left one of the brightest names in the Roman 
annals, marched to the relief of the city. The Lucanians were 
defeated in a great battle, and their general, C. Statilius, was taken 
prisoner. The victory was followed by the voluntary submission 
of most of the Greek cities, except those of Dorian origin, which 
adhered to Tarentum ; and, besides, Thurii, Locri, Croton, and 
Rhegium received Roman garrisons. Tlieir occupation of the 
last of these cities appears to have anticipated the designs of the 
Carthaginians : and from the station they had at last reached at 
the extremity of the peninsula, they seemed to challenge those 
two great foreign powers, the Hellenic and the Punic, whose con- 
flicts with Rome occupy the following century of her annals. 
Once more the good fortune of Rome was conspicuous in having 

* See chap, xviii. p. 110. 


to deal with her enemies apart ; for the conquest of Italy was 
finished two years before the Punic wars began ; and the ambi- 
tious designs of Pyrrhus were not resumed \)j Philip of Mace- 
donia till the Romans were relieved from the worst pressure of 
the Second Punic War. 

Taeentum now remained the sole obstacle to Rome's entire 
mastery of Italy. Situated on a splendid harbour west of the river 
Galaesus, at the bottom of the Gulf of Tarentum, and adjacent 
to the fertile plain of Lucania, this ancient city had enjoyed a pre- 
eminence among the states of Magna Grecia almost from the time 
of its colonization by the Lacedaemonian Phalanthus. It grew rich 
by commerce, and possessed land and sea forces sufiicient to de- 
fend it alike against the Etruscans and the more fatal enemy of 
the Greek cities in Italy, Dionysius of Syracuse. The philosopher 
Archytas, a native of the city, gave it a code of laws (about 
B.C. 400), and it became famous as the resort of learned Greeks. 
Meanwhile, however, it had entirely abandoned the old Dorian 
simplicity ; and the transference of the government from the many 
to the few was followed by a strange mixture of restless energy in 
the pursuit of wealth with licentious frivolity in its use. The Ta- 
rentines have been called " the Athenians of Italy," but while they 
caricatured the levity of the Athenians to a childish degree, they 
vied with the Etruscans in degraded luxury. Plato, who visited 
Tarentum about b.c. 389, saw the whole city drunk at the time of 
the Dionysia. The reader of Athenseus will remember at least 
one striking case of their prostitution of art to licentiousness ; and 
literature was equally degraded by the invention of the burlesque 
or " merry tragedy," at the very time when the Samnites were 
making their great stand against the advancing power of Rome. 
The demagogues who directed their government proved totally 
incompetent to make use of a crisis which might have delivered 
the city from its difiicult position among the contending parties. 
Their thoughts were chiefly occupied with the danger nearest at 
hand, from the growing pressure of the Lucanians, and their ap- 
peals for aid first brought over armies from the continent of Greece 
to Italy. Archidamus, the son of Agis, fell fighting in their cause 
(b.c. 338). In the interval between the first and second Samnite 
wars, the people of Tarentum invited Alexander of Epirus, the 
uncle of Alexander the Great, to assist them against a joint attack 
by the Lucanians and the Samnites (b.c. 332). This prince 
remained in Italy for nearly seven years, but the details of his 
campaigns are unfortunately lost. The Tarentines soon quarrelled 



with him, probably because tbev perceived Ms design of maldiig 
himself kins of Italy. He then continued the war on his own 
account, and made a league with the Eomans. After a career 
marked by considerable successes, the treachery of some Lucanian 
emicrrants, who wished to make their peace with their comitrymen, 
brought on him a defeat, in which he lost Ms life, near Pandosia, 
on the river Acheron (b.c. 326). In this same year, the breaking 
out of the Great Samnite War gave the Tarentines an opportunity 
to form a league which might have repulsed the Eomans from 
Southern Italy. But while they left the Samnites to maintain a 
single-handed struggle for Italian independence, the Tarentine 
demagogues claimed to assume the position of umpires ; and when 
the disaster at the Caudine Forks seemed to present a safe oppor- 
tunity for insulting the Eomans, they summoned both belligerents 
to lay down their arms (b.c. 320). The Eomans replied by an 
immediate declaration of war, which seems at once to have quelled 
the rash confidence of the Tarentines ; for, instead of using their 
fleet to co-operate with the Samnites in Campania, they sent it to 
support the aristocratic party in the cities of Sicily against Aga- 
thocles. Their armies were occupied in hostilities with the Luca- 
nians, whose pohcy was equally fatal to the Samnite cause. At 
length, warned by the approaching end of the war that they might 
soon have to deal with the Eomans as well as the Lucanians, they 
again looked for help to Greece. The adventurer who came this 
time to their aid was Cleonymus, the son of Cleomenes II., king 
of Sparta, who brought with him 5000 mercenaries and raised as 
many more in Italy. He compelled the Lucanians to make peace 
with Tarentum ; and, had he possessed the spirit of a P^-rrhus, he 
was strong enough to have headed a great confederacy of the 
Itahan and the Greek cities against Eome. But his ambition 
was of a far more vulgar type ; and, after wasting time at Meta- 
pontum, and talking of aiding the Sicilian cities against Agathocles, 
he suddenly departed for Corcyra, and made that island his head- 
quarters for piratical incursions upon Italy and Greece. Thus the 
close of the Second Samnite War found the Tarentines defenceless 
against the Eomans, who granted them favourable terms of peace 
(B.C. 304). 

That peace had remained formally unbroken to the present time ; 
and the Tarentines, yearly more and more enervated by luxury, 
had looked on while the Samnites and Etruscans were crushed and 
the Senones extii-pated. But their secret hostility to Eome was 
now intensified by fear ; and an opportunity occun-ed for the inso- 


lent display of their maritime power at lier expense. There were 
old treaties which bound the Romans not to sail to the east of the 
Liicanian promontory [C. JVait), the western headland of the Gulf 
of Tarentum. The Romans were not likely to observe a restriction 
which would have severed them both from their garrison at Thurii 
and from their new possessions on the Adi-iatic. Whether in good 
faith, or from the characteristic assumption to " decree what should 
be right," a fleet of ten ships of war, sent to protect Thurii, and 
probably also to watch the Tarentines, appeared suddenly off 
Tarentum (b.c. 282). It was the Dionysiac festival, and the whole 
people were gathered in the theatre in a condition like that in 
which they had been seen by Plato, when from the raised seats, 
which looked out to the sea, they beheld the Roman ships making 
evidently for the harbour. Incited by a demagogue, who urged 
them to take instant satisfaction for the violated treaty, they 
rushed down and manned their ships, and sailed out to meet the 
Romans, who, surprised and outnumbered, sought safety in flight. 
Only half their fleet escaped ; four ships were sunk with aU their 
crews ; a fifth was taken ; the soldiers on board were put to death, 
and the rowers were sold for slaves. Such an outrage upon an 
ally so powerful could only spring from that recklessness with 
which weak passion commits itself to a course which it is conscious 
of not having the strength to carry through. As for the treaty, it 
was both obsolete and inappKcable to the present state of things ; 
and the Tartentines clearly put themselves in the wrong by attack- 
ing without first warning off the Roman fleet. Flushed with their 
easy victory they marched to Thm'ii and took the city by surprise. 
The Roman garrison was suffered to retire uninjured ; but their 
partisans were driven into exile; the existing government was 
overthrown ; the city was plundered ; and the Thurians were 
bitterly reproached for bringing the Romans into the Gulf of 
Tarentum among the Hellenic cities, by the very state which had 
forced them to that course by abandoning them to the Lucanians 
(B.C. 282). 

The Romans took their wonted precautions to place themselves 
in the right. They sent L. Posturaius to Tarentum at the head of 
an embassy, to demand satisfaction. On their first landing the 
envoys were beset by a rabble, jeering at their purple-bordered 
togas. It happened that the citizens were again assembled in the 
theatre at the season of a festival, and the ambassadors were con- 
ducted thither for their audience. The whole assembly seemed 
possessed with a spirit of wanton levity. When Postumius began 


to address them in Greek, they laughed aloud at his accent and his 
mistakes. He was still proceeding, with unmoved gravity, to 
state the senate's moderate demands — the release of the captives, 
the restoration of Thurii, and the surrender of the authors of the 
outrage — when a drunken profligate came up to him and bespat- 
tered his white toga with the most disgusting filth, amidst the 
laughter, applause, and obscene songs of the whole assembly. 
" Laugh while ye may," exclaimed Postumius, holding up his 
sullied robe, " ye shall weep long enough hereafter, and the stain 
on this toga shall be washed out in your blood." Even after 
this insult, it was with some reluctance that the senate declared 
war. The consul, L. ^milius Barbula, who was already in Sam- 
nium, advanced into the Tarentine territory ; but he did not begin 
to ravage it till the former ofifers of peace had been again refused ; 
and then he sent back several noble prisoners unhurt. The Romans 
hoped for the restoration of peace through the aristocratical party ; 
and for a moment the government fell into its hands ; but the 
democracy had already taken measures, at once to protect the 
city and to secure their own ascendancy by foreign aid. 

The petulance of the Tarentine democracy was, in fact, not so 
irrational as it appears ; and the Romans had a special reason for 
their moderation. "We must glance back to that point in the 
Greek annals at which we saw the noble-minded Epirot, Pyrrhus, 
meditating to place his name on a level with that of Alexander, by 
founding an empire in the West.* Since the enterprise of his 
ancestor Alexander, half a century before, Tarentum had been, as 
it were, an open gate into Italy ; and now the prospect was held 
out of measuring his strength, not with the barbarian Lucanians, 
but with worthy rivals for imperial dominion. The Samnites, 
Lucanians, and Bruttians might be relied on for a last united 
efibrt under such a leader. The Tartentines had already sent an 
embassy to Pyrrhus, who had the wisdom to demand powers which 
would make him independent of their vacillating councils ; and 
they had to make the simple choice between submitting to the 
Romans or receiving the Epirot for a master. The two parties 
were very nearly balanced ; but the more patriotic course of taking 
a Greek for their leader was enforced by apprehensions of Roman 
vengeance. The clemency of the Roman consul had, however, 
produced such an efiect, that Agis, the leader of the aristocratic 
party, had been chosen general, when all was changed by the return 
of the envoys from Epirus, bringing a treaty ratified by Pyrrhus. 

* See chap, xviii. p. 107. 


It gave him tlie supreme command of the Tarentines and their 
Italian allies, with the right of keeping a garrison in the city till 
the independence of Italy should he secured. The envoys were 
accompanied by Cineas, the favom-ite minister of Pyrrhus. His 
general, Milo, soon followed, with 3000 men, and, by taking pos- 
session of the citadel, put an end at once to the government of 
Agis, and to all prospect of peace with Rome. The consul /Emi- 
lius retired into winter quarters in Apulia (b.c. 281). 

It was still the depth of winter when Pyrrhus himself landed 
on the Messapian coast with a force which had suffered greatly 
from a stormy voyage, and marched overland to Tarentum, whither 
his scattered ships gradually followed. The army he brought 
with him numbered 20,000 soldiers of the phalanx, 2000 archers, 
500 slingers, 3000 cavalry, and 20 elephants, an animal now for 
the first time seen in Italy.* It was for the most part raised 
from various nations subject to his rule on the western coast of 
Greece, — Molossians, Thesprotians, Chaonians, and Ambraciots ; 
but it also included, besides his own household troops, some 
Macedonian infantry and Thessalian cavalry, furnished by Ptolemy 
Ceraunus. The small body — as large however, as that which 
Alexander had led into Asia — was but the nucleus of his intended 
force. The Tarentine envoys had promised him 350,000 infantry 
and 20,000 cavalry of the confederates. Finding that this force 
still remained to be raised, Pyrrhus at once set about enlisting mer- 
cenaries at the expense of the Tarentines, and, what was far more 
distasteful, he compelled the citizens to serve in person. His 
measures transformed the city of frivolous idlers into a severely 
ordered garrison ; the assembly and the clubs were suspended ; 
the theatres and promenades were closed ; and when the citizens 
attempted to fly from this irksome discipline, his guards pre- 
vented their passing the gates without the king's permission. 
On the first symptoms of disaffection, the demagogues and lead- 
ing men were put to death or deported as hostages to Epirus. 
"Wliatever might be the case with Italy, Tarentum at least had 
found a master, who knew how little its free alKance was worth ; 
and Pyrrhus was too good a soldier to begin the campaign with- 
out secm'ing the city which formed his mihtary base. 

* Heace its proper Latin name, " the Lucanian ox " {bos Lucas), from the country 
in which the Romans first saw it. We still unconsciously call the elephant an ox, 
for the name is but the Greek form of the Samitic aleph or eleph, an ox. It is need- 
less to multiply examples of the popular application of famiUar names to newly- 
discovered animals. 


The Romans strained every nerve to march against Pyrrhus 
before he could gather the forces which as yet the confederacy 
did not possess. In fact, all Italy, except Tarentum itself and 
the adjacent parts of Lucania, lay at their command, if they could 
but anticipate the advance of Pyrrhus. The Samnites and the 
bulk of the Lucanians were kept in check by the colony of 
Venusia ; and the Bruttians would have been overawed by the 
garrisons of the Greek cities, but for the defection of the Cam- 
panian garrison in Rhegium, who rose and seized the city for 
themselves, with results of which we have afterwards to speak. 
Promt his example it may be inferred that the Campanians were 
for the most part employed in garrison duty, and that they were 
generally disaifected. The crisis was indeed one to try the temper 
of all the Italians, and especially of the recently subdued Sabellian 
nations, when they heard that the greatest captain of Greece had 
crossed the sea to head an effort for their liberation ; and there 
can be little doubt that a rapid march of Pyrrhus up the central 
highlands would have been attended by a universal rising. How 
dubious was the fidelity of some even of the Latins, and how 
stern the resolution of the Romans to crush disaffection, is proved 
by the fate of some of the leading citizens of Prasneste, who were 
suddenly carried off to Rome, cast into prison, and afterwards put 
to death. Even the proletarii were called out and armed, probably 
to form the army of reserve which covered Rome. An army was 
sent under the consul Coruncanius against the Etruscans, who 
were already scarcely able to keep the field ; while the main forces 
of the republic were despached under the other consul P. Valerius 
Lsevinus, through Samnium into the Tarentine territory. This 
army consisted of four legions, with the auxiliary troops of the 
allies. Its total force, amounting in all to 50,000 men, is so 
much greater than an ordinary consular army,* that we must 
suppose Lgevinus to have formed a junction with the troops which 
had wintered in Apulia under ^milius. At the lowest calcu- 
lation, the Roman army must have considerably outnumbered the 

The attempt of Pyrrhus to gain time by offering to mediate 
between the Romans and the Italians was met by an indignant 
refusal ; and he marched out of Tarentum to meet the enemy. 
Lsevinus had directed his march to the western shore of the Gulf 
of Tarentum, and was encamped on the right bank of the Siris 
{Sinno) when Pyrrhus hastened forward to protect the important 

* The greatest ordinary force of a consular army was 20,000 foot and 2400 horse. 


city of Heraclea at the moutli of tlie Aciris {Agri). The plain 
between the two rivers was favourable for the king's cavalry and 
elephants, and here he drew up his forces, with his left resting on 
Heraclea and his right towards Pandosia. The Battle of Heea- 
CLEA is memorable in military history as the iirst in which the 
two great systems of the phalanx and the legion were brought 
into collision.* The attack was begun by the Romans. They 
passed the Siris under cover of theu' horse, who crossed first on 
the two wings, threatening to surround the enemy. PyiThus 
himself led a furious charge of cavalry, but the Romans sus- 
tained the shock, in which the king was thrown, his horse being 
killed by a brave Frentanian, and his horsemen fled at seeing him 
fall. The incident taught Pyrrhus caution ; and he exchanged his 
arms and pui-ple cloak with an officer of his guard, named Mega- 
cles, while he brought the phalanx into action. Seven times did 
the legion and the phalanx drive one another back : seven times 
did either force reconquer its lost ground. The conflict still hung 
in doubt, when Megacles, whose borrowed splendour had made him 
a universal mark, was struck down dead. His fall was almost as 
fatal as if he had been really the king. Lsevinus seized the oppor- 
tunity to bring up his last reserve, a chosen body of cavalry, 
which he threw on the flank of the phalanx, while it wavered for 
a moment. But the column rallied at the sight of Pyrrhus, riding 
with bare head along its front ; and the king, in his turn, brought 
up his reserve, those formidable beasts, whose unwieldy strength 

* The Koman legion, as we have seen, was at first arrayed as a phalanx ; but, at 
the time of the great Latin war, it had been remodelled into that more open order, 
for a full account of which the reader is referred to the works on Roman antiquities. It 
was drawn up in three lines at moderate intervals, called the hastcdi, principes, and 
triarii ; but the last line was triple, so that there were really five lines in all. The has- 
Mi, in the front line, were the youths who were making their first experience of war ; 
the principes, those in the full vigour of manhood; and these two formed the van, 
under the common name of Aniepilani, "those before the pilani''^ (javeUn-men), 
another name for the Triarii or third rani: The latter were the main body, consisting of 
veterans, of whom those best tried formed the front line of veterani or triarii proper ; 
behind them were the rorarii, of younger and less famous soldiers ; and last of aU 
the accensi, or supernumeraries. The central line, of triarii proper, may be regarded 
as the nucleus of the whole force, with two lines in front, that could fall back between 
its open columns if driven in, and two other lines in the rear, to advance to its sup- 
port. Each line was formed of fifteen maniples or companies {pianipuU), consisting 
of 60 privates, 2 centurions or captains, and an ensign {vexillarius). The maniples 
were drawn up with a space between them on each side, and were formed in open 
order, each man having a free space to wield his weapons. This open order, in which 
so much scope was given to the powers of the individual soldier, the system of 
separate lines, supporting each other at intervals, and the greater breadth of front, 
formed the great distinctions between the legion and the phalanx. 


the Eomans had not yet learned to despise, and whose strange 
forms their horses could not be brought to face. The cavalry 
which was to have decided the victory fled, carrying confusion 
among the legions : the elephants pursued, trampling down all 
before them ; and the charge of Pyri'hus with his Thessalian 
horse made the rout complete. It is said that the Roman army 
would have been cut to pieces, had not a certain Caius 
Minucius wounded one of the elephants, which turned back upon 
the pursuers, causing a confusion which gave the fugitives a 
momentary respite, and showed how these terrible beasts might 
be made dangerous to their own employers. As it was, the 
Romans escaped over the Siris, but without staying to defend 
their camp. Their loss in killed and wounded was reckoned at 
15,000 men, of whom T,000 were left dead upon the field, and 
2,000 were taken prisoners. The battle cost Pyrrhus 4,000 slain, 
including so many of his best men and officers as to have called 
forth from him the celebrated saying, that such another victory 
would be his ruin. Lsevinus drew off his routed army into 
Apulia, and found a rallying place at Yenusia, which remained 
faithful to Rome, while environed by the enemy. The rest of 
Apulia, with Lucania, Samnium, the Bruttii, the Greek cities, 
in a word, the whole south of Italy, were the prize of the victory ; 
but the Latins were steadfast, and Pyrrhus learnt with what sort 
of men he had to deal by the refusal of his offer to the prisoners 
to take service in his army. 

Well weighing the price that his victory had cost, and trusting 
to its immediate effect upon the Romans, he offered terms of 
peace. His aim was to establish a Greek power in Southern Italy, 
embracing the Italian states as dependent alhes ; an arrangement 
which might be sufiicient at least till he sliould have subjugated 
Sicily. He demanded the freedom of all the Hellenic cities, 
including those of Campania, and the restitution of all territory 
and places (Luceria and Venusia among the rest) that had been 
taken from the Samnite nations. The bearer of these proposals 
was the minister Cineas, a philosopher and orator who had heard 
Demosthenes in his youth, and who was said to have won more 
cities by his tongue than Pyrrhus had taken by his sword. He 
was instructed to lavish professions of respect and admiration on 
the republic ; but he was furnished with other means of persuasion, 
to be used in private. His blandishments were not without effect. 
A party in the senate were inclined to impose upon themselves 
with the fallacy that a present concession might draw Pyrrhus on 


to his ruin. But the old statesmen, who had guided the republic 
through the Samnite and Latin wars, and had seen her take the 
first step to sovereign dominion, knew full well that the question 
was of her relinquishing all she had gained and subsiding into 
the chief citj of Latium, a mere province of a Greek kingdom. 
The blind and aged Appius Claudius, who in his censorship had 
laid down the road by which the Roman armies had so often 
marched to their victories in the south, appeared in the senate, 
after a long retirement, to infase into a new generation the spirit 
by which their fathers had conquered. The story of how he was 
carried through the crowded forum in a litter, and led by his sons 
and sons-in-law to his place, and heard with breathless silence by 
the senate, irresistibly recalls that great scene of our own history, 
the last appearance of Chatham, — a comparison which Dr. Arnold 
has drawn with a very pardonable exaggeration : — " We recollect 
how the greatest of English statesmen, bowed down by years and 
infirmity like Appius, but roused like him by the dread of 
approaching dishonour to the English name, was led by his son 
and son-in-law into the House of Lords, and all the peers with 
one impulse arose to receive hini. We know the expiring words 
of that mighty voice, when he protested against the dismember- 
ment of this ancient monarchy, and prayed that if England must 
fall, she might fall with honour. The real speech of Lord Chat- 
ham against yielding to the coalition of France and America will 
give a far more lively image of what was said by the blind Appius 
in the Roman senate than any fictitious oration which I could 
either copy from other writers or endeavour myself to invent ; and 
those who would wish to know how Appius spoke should read the 
dying words of the great orator of England." * Not content 
with rejecting the king's overtures, the senate declared the prin- 
ciple that Rome could never negotiate with a foreign enemy on 
Italian ground ; and Cineas returned to tell liis master that " to 
fight with the Roman people was like fighting with the hydra, so 
inexhaustible were their numbers and their spirit. The city was 
like a temple, the senate was an assembly of kings." Such 
expressions might well have been used by a spectator of the actual 
state of Rome ; but they were probably placed in the mouth of 

* Arnold, History of Home, vol. ii. p. 497. It is a remarkable coincidence that 
the painter of the modern scene should have given life to a son who, at an age as 
great as that of Appius, and in spite of infirmities Uke Chatham's, was wont to 
entrance the House of Lords, with pleadings as eloquent as those of cither, for the 
true dignity of England Ln the cause of European Uberty. 


Cineas by the Greek rhetorical historians. At all events they had 
no effect in checking the course of Pyrrhus. 

The Romans prepared to meet him in a spirit worthy of their 
proud answer to his overtures. Two new legions were raised to 
reinforce Lffivinus, who followed the march of Pyrrhus into Cam- 
pania, and saved Capua and Neapolis. Having laid waste that 
rich province, the king ascended the valley of the Liris into 
Latium, as far as Fregellse, which he took by surprise, thus 
securing the passage of the river. His march was now directed 
straight upon Pome along the great Latin road. The Hemicans 
of Anagnia, who were still the unwilling subjects of Pome, and 
the Prsenestines, smarting under their recent cruel chastisement, 
opened their gates at his approach, but the Latin cities in general 
showed no inclination to revolt from Pome. He had advanced 
six miles beyond Praeneste, to the spot where the road emerges 
from the mountains into the Carapagna, across which he could see 
the city at the distance of only eighteen miles, when he found 
that his onward march had reached its limit. 

Exhausted by their fruitless efforts since their defeat at the 
Vadimonian Lake, and probably unwilling to have the war carried 
into their country, the Etruscans made a separate peace with 
Pome at this very crisis, and the army of the consul Coruncanius 
was set at liberty to operate against Pjorhus, while the dictator, 
Cn. Domitius Calvinus, covered Pome with his army of reserve. 
With such a force in his front, and that of Lsevinus hanging on 
his rear, Pyn-hus had no choice but to retreat. He carried off his 
immense booty into Campania umnolested by Lsevinus,* and 
thence retired into winter quarters at Tarentum (e.g. 280). The 
fruits of his victory at Heraclea had been in a gi'eat measure lost 
by the defection of the Etruscans and the firm attitude of the 
Latins, and the Italian confederates complained of the burthens of 
a war in which the insolence of the foreign soldiery was ever 
reminding them of their secondary part. 

It was during this winter that the Pomans sent that embassy to 
Pyrrhus, which the annalists have adorned with their celebrated 
stories of the unflinching courage and incorruptible integrity of 
Fabricius. The object of tlie mission, to ransom or exchange the 
Poman prisoners, was refused by Pyi'rhus unless the terms of peace 
already offered by Cineas were accepted ; but he allowed them to 

* The Roman annalists tell one of their usual romances, about the army of Lasvi- 
nus frightening oflP the Greeks with their shouts, when Pyrrhus was preparing for an 


go to Rome to celebrate tlie Saturnalia, on their word of honour to 
return, a pledge to which the senate added force by proclaiming 
the penalty of death for any one who loitered a day behind the 
appointed time. 

At the beginning of the summer of B.C. 279, Pyrrhus opened 
the campaign in Apulia, and the Roman consuls marched to the 
relief of Asculum, to which he had laid siege. The two armies 
were equally matched, both in their numbers and composition. 
Each contained about 70,000 infantry and 8000 cavalry ; the select 
troops being 16,000 Greeks and Epirots on the one side, and 
20,000 Romans on the other ; but to counterbalance this slight 
disparity, Pyrrhus had his elephants, now reduced to nineteen. 
His allies were the Lucanians, Bruttians, and Samnites, with the 
civic force of Tarentum, distinguished by their white shields : those 
of the Romans were the Latins, Campanians, Yolscians, Umbrians 
Sabines, and the kindred Sabellian tribes. The armies were di*awn 
up in such a manner as to prove that on neither side were the allies 
fully trusted. Pyrrhus arranged his wings so as to meet the open 
order of the Romans, who, on their part, had invented a peculiar 
sort of war-chariot to use against the elephants. The real battle 
of Asculum was preceded, the day before, by an indecisive engage- 
ment, in which Pyrrhus, attacking on broken ground, suffered 
some disadvantage ; but on the following day he drew the Romans 
into the plain, where his phalanx had room to form and his 
elephants free scope for action. The Romans exhausted their 
desperate valour upon the even front of the phalanx without being 
able to penetrate within the line of spears ; till, wearied and dis- 
ordered, they were routed by a charge of the elephants. They 
escaped to their camp behind the river, with the loss of 6000 men. 
How entirely the victory was due to the phalanx is proved by the loss 
of 3505 of the king's other troops. We are fortunate in possessing 
the trustworthy account of the battle of Asculum, copied by Plu- 
tarch from Hieronymus of Cardia, an historian who flourished from 
the time of Alexander to that of Pyrrhus, and made use of the 
king's own commentaries. The Roman annalists claimed the 
victory ; and, in a political sense, they were not far wrong. Pyr- 
rhus had not succeeded in completely crushing a Roman army and 
giving the allies of Rome an opportunity to revolt ; and the Italian 
confederacy was held together and to him by ties loose from the 
fii*st, and long since weakened by mutual disgust. His own Greek 
troops, on whom alone he placed reliance, melted away with every 
battle, and the irruption of the Gauls into Greece precluded the 


hope of reinforcements. He abandoned the campaign, leaving the 
Komans in possession of Apulia, and retii-ed into winter quarters 
at Tareutum (b.c. 279). 

Here he was invited to a scene of action more congenial to a 
Greek, and promising a better vantage ground for some future 
attack on Italy. Agathocles had been dead ten years, and the 
Sicilian Greeks had been left, without any common leader, to the 
demagogues and despots of their several cities. Meanwhile the 
Cartliaginians had made rapid progress in the island : Agrigentum 
had fallen, and Syracuse was now threatened. The Syracusans 
applied to Pyrrhus, who had a sort of claim, as the son-in-law of 
Agathocles, to be their natural leader, and they offered him the sov- 
ereignty of their city. They were seconded by envoys from the other 
states, who promised to make him master of the whole island. At 
thesame juncture, the Romans and Carthaginians, who had hitherto 
been connected only by commercial treaties, concluded an offensive 
and defensive league against Pyrrhus and the Greeks. By this 
treaty, the Romans secured the aid of the Carthaginian fleet to 
operate upon the coast of Italy, and especially to blockade Pyr- 
rhus in Tarentum, and the Carthaginians hoped to detain the king 
in Italy while they obtained the complete mastery of Sicily. It 
might well appear that, by at once meeting them on the latter 
field, Pyrrhus would best promote his ultimate success in Italy. 

Early in b.c. 278, the Carthaginian fleet of 120 sail, under Mago, 
sailed from Ostia to the straits. They were received at Messana by 
the Mamertines, of whom we shall soon hear more ; but Rhegium 
was successfully defended by the revolters, who could hope for no 
mercy from the Romans. Syracuse was next blockaded, while a pow- 
erful army formed the siege by land. Meanwhile the Romans open- 
ed the campaign in Italy under the new consuls, of whom Fabricius 
was one. This simple yeoman seemed to have been raised up to over- 
come Pyrrhus by a magnanimity like his own before Curius conquer- 
ed him in arms. He sent warning to the king that one of his servants 
had offered to poison him if he were well paid. PyiThus responded 
to the generous act by dismissing all his Roman prisoners without 
ransom, and seized the opportunity to re-open negotiations. Cineas 
was once more sent to Rome ; but the senate remained firm to the 
Carthaginian alliance, and adhered to its former terms. It was 
now needful above all things to save Syracuse. Disregarding 
alike the remonstrances of the Italians, and the piteous appeal of 
the Tarentines, that, if he must desert them, he would at least 
restore to them their city, Pyrrhus left Milo with a garrison at 

B.C. 278.] PYKPwHUS IX SICILY. 319 

Tarentiun, and his son Alexander at Locri, and set sail -with his 
main force for Sicily. If the Carthaginians had left the squadron 
at Messana, it was too weak to oppose his passage, and he disem- 
barked at Tauromenimn {Taormina)^ near the northern foot of 

The two years which Pyrrhus had spent in Italy, so brilliant in 
victories and so fruitless in then' results, foreshadowed the bright 
promise and the bitter disappointment of his two years' campaign 
in Sicily. He was at once successful in relieving Syracuse, and 
all the Greek cities recognized his leadership. Their union 
turned the tide against the Carthaginians, who were almost 
entu'ely driven from the field, and lost their fortress of Eryx in 
the west. It was only the strength of their fleet that enabled 
them to hold the two great ports of Messana and Lilyb^eum at 
the opposite extremities of the island. The Romans, engaged in 
recovering the south of Italy, showed no disposition to come to 
theu' help; and the Carthaginians offered Pyrrhus a separate 
peace, with supplies of men and money, if he would leave them 
in undisturbed possession of Lilybaeum. They hoped, of course, 
that he would return to Italy, leaving the Greek cities once more 
at their mercy. Pyn*hus rejected the proposal, and set to work 
to supply his greatest want, by building a fleet, which might 
enable him not only to take Lilybseum, and to keep open his 
communications between Epirus, Italy, and Sicily, but even to 
carry the war into Africa with that adequate force for the want of 
which Agathocles had failed. By the middle of e.g. 2Y8, the 
fleet was ready in the harbour of Syracuse. But in the mean 
time disaffection had broken out among the Greeks. Trained at 
the com*t of Ptolemy, Pyrrhus had imbibed oriental ideas of 
government thoroughly distasteful to the citizens of free republics ; 
nor did he scruple to put down opposition by severity. His 
failure to take Lilybseum had injured his prestige with the Greeks, 
and, when they saw his new fleet sail for Tarentum instead of 
Lilybseum, they believed that he had finally abandoned them. 
They refused all his demands for reinforcements and supplies, and, 
in one word, the kingdom of Sicily was lost. 

It appears, indeed, that Pyrrhus was led by his generous nature 
into a political mistake. Had he completed the expulsion of the 
Carthaginians from Sicily, and then established his government 
there with something of the sternness of a Dionysius or an Aga- 
thocles, he might have returned as the undisputed sovereign of 
the island, to finish his work in Italy. The successes of the 


Romans had indeed been great : and even Locri had been lost, 
the citizens having massacred the Epirot garrison. But the Luca- 
nians and Samnites were not yet entirely subdued ; and Tarentum, 
held by the garrison under Milo, kept open the entrance into 
Italy. Pyrrhus could have afforded to wait ; but he seems to have 
felt himself bound to respond to the cry of the Italians before 
they were quite crushed ; and his attempt to relieve them cut him 
off from his surest resources. " The enterprise of Pyrrhus was 
wrecked ; and the plan of his' life was ruined irretrievably : he is 
henceforth an adventurer, who feels that he has been great and is 
so no longer, and w^ho now wages war, not as a means to an end, 
but in order to drown thought amidst the reckless excitement of 
the game, and to find, if possible, in the tumult of battle, a sol- 
dier's death." * The state of his mind was revealed by an incident 
to be related presently. He began operations for the recovery of 
the Greek cities, while the consuls were engaged i]i Samnium and 
Lucania. Locri was taken by surprise, and the inhabitants 
punished for the slaughter of the garrison ; but the Campanians 
in Phegium repelled his attack, with the help of the Mamertines 
of Messana. Eager as the Italians had been to seek his aid, 
they seemed to give him but a cold welcome, and offered none of 
the supplies he needed. On his return from Phegium, he was 
persuaded by some of his followers to plunder the temple of 
Proserpine at Locri of a treasure which had been buried out of 
mortal sight for untold generations. But the ships which were 
conveying it to Tarentum were wrecked, and the treasure was cast 
back on the Locrian shore. In vain did Pyrrhus restore it to the 
temple, and seek to propitiate the goddess with the lives of his 
advisers. His constant sense of being haunted by her displeasure 
proved that his impulsive natm-e had succumbed to despondency. 
Alexander was not'free from superstition, but he knew how to 
propitiate the gods by assuming that they were always on his side. 
Pyrrhus was not cold-blooded enough for a great conqueror, and 
the saying is literally true of him, which is the deepest irony when 
applied to Caesar : — 

"Ambition should be made of sterner stuff." 

Even the Romans who were little deficient in this material, were 
seized with religious terror at the renewal of the war, attended as 
it was by unheard of prodigies. The thunderbolt of Jove decap- 
itated his own clay statue on the summit of the Capitol, and the 

* Mommsen, History of Rome, vol, ii. p. 421. 


head was only found after a diligent search in the river's bed at 
the very spot indicated by the augurs. The new levy was not 
raised till the consul ]\Ianius Curius Dentatus had made a severe 
example of the first defaulter. At length Curius took the field in 
Samnium, and his colleague Lentulus in Lucania (b.o. 2Y5). 

The army of Pyrrhus at Tarentum was by this time reduced to 
20,000 infantry and 3000 cavalry, of whom his veteran Epirots 
formed but a small proportion. Of the forces of the Samnites 
and Lucanians we have no account, except that both nations were 
almost exhausted by the successes of the Romans during the last 
two years. A Roman army had wintered in Samnium ; and the 
first object of Pyrrhus was to relieve the Samnites before they 
were completely crushed. Despatching a body of Samnite auxilia- 
ries to make head against Lentulus in Lucania, he hastened with 
his main body into Samnium, where Curius lay near Beneventum, 
waiting for the junction of his colleague, and for favourable omens. 
A night attack on the consul's camp was disconcerted by some of 
Pyrrhus's troops losing their way in the darkness ; and the rough 
ground on which the attack was made was in favour of the Romans. 
Encouraged by the repulse of the night assault, Curius led down 
his army into the plain. The Romans, victorious on one wing 
were on the other driven back before the charge of the elephants, 
when the guards of the camp poured in such a shower of arrows, 
that the galled beastg turned round and ran full upon the 
phalanx. The Romans, rushing in through the openings in 
the array of spears, plied their short swords almost unresisted 
within the enemy's guard. The flower of the Epirot army was 
destroyed: the camp of Pyrrhus fell into the victors' hands: 
and, in addition to 1300 prisoners, they took four elephants, the 
first that were ever seen at Rome. The wonder always excited by 
the animals when seen for the fii'st time must have been mingled 
with deep suggestions of oriental conquest, when the Romans saw 
tlie strange beasts waving their trunks before tlie triumphal car of 
their rustic consul. The immense booty of the royal camp was 
afterwards used for the construction of the aqueduct which con- 
veyed the water of the Anio to Rome {Anio Yetus). 

Clinging to his enterprise to the last, Pyrrhus applied to his 
allies in the East for the indispensable reinforcements, but without 
success. His enemy, Antigonas Gouatus, reigned in Macedonia 
and threatened Epirus itself, and the kings of Syria and Egypt 
were busy with their own aflairs. The expedition was at an end ; 
and Pyrrhus returned to his own country to reap his brilliant and 

VOL. II. 21 


profitless victories for the last time (b.c. 275). Landing in Epirus 
with only 8000 foot and 500 horse, he was soon strong enough to 
recover the crown of Macedonia from Antigonus, but only to 
perish the next year by a woman's hand in the streets of Argos 
(b.c. 272).* But even at his final departure, he was so loth to 
relinquish all hold upon Italy, that he left a garrison under Milo 
in Tarentum, and, while he lived, this shadow of his presence j^ro- 
longed the resistance of the south. 

Milo discharged his duty like a man of sense and spirit. The 
resistance of Italy was virtually ended, and the peace party re- 
covered the political government of Tarentum. Those who chose 
were suffered to leave the city and to build a separate fort, which 
they surrendered to the Romans without opposition from Milo ; but 
he refused to give up the city itself. It was not till a Carthaginian 
fleet appeared in the bay, and the Tarentines were about to yield 
the city to them, that Milo, released from his allegiance by the 
death of Pyrrhus, admitted the Romans into the citadel (b.c. 272). 
It is not easy to exaggerate the influence of this step on the desti- 
nies of the world ; for the possession of a port like Tarentum 
might probably have reversed the issue of the Punic Wars. As 
it was, the Carthaginians protested that they had come in all 
friendship, to aid the Romans in accordance with the treaty. 
Tarentum was suffered to retain its self-government on surrender- 
ing all its means of defence ; and the Lupanians and Bruttians 
made their submission. 

Some isolated enterprises still remained, to complete the subju- 
gation of Italy. The first was the reduction and punishment of 
the revolted Campanian garrison of Rhegium, who had now held 
out for ten years against the Romans, the Carthaginians, and 
Pyrrhus. The city was taken after a long and desperate resist- 
ance, and the survivors of the original mutineers were scourged 
and beheaded in the market place at Rome (b.c. 270). In this 
war we first find Hiero of Syracuse giving the Romans that sup- 
port which he so faithfully maintained throughout his long life. 
Hiero undertook on his own account the reduction of those kindred 
pirates, the Mamertines of Messana, with results of which we 
have to speak in the next chapter. The final effort of the Sam- 
nites, in the shape of a desultory guerrilla warfare, was crushed by 
the united armies of both consuls in the following year (b.c. 269). 
But at the very time when the last sparks of Italian independence 
were trampled out in its ancient focus, a new war was begun by a 

* See Chap. XVni. pp. 107, 108. 


people of whom we have barely heard before. These were the 
Picentines, on the Adriatic coast, between Umbria and the Sabine 
country. They had been the faithful allies of Rome ever since the 
outbreak of the Third Saranite War; and their present revolt 
arose probably from the design of removing many of them to 
colonize the old Samnite coast on ths Gulf of Salernum. They 
were speedily subdued, and the new colonies of Ariminum and 
Beneventum added security to the Adriatic coast and the Samnite 
mountains (b.c. 268). Last of all, the Roman arms were carried 
beyond Tarentum into the lapygian promontory, which forms the 
" heel " of Italy, and was peopled by the Messapians and Salen- 
tines. The latter, who were settled about the extreme headland 
{C. di Leuca), claimed to be a Greek colony, founded by the Cretan 
Idomenus after the Trojan War, By their subjugation, the 
Romans secured the port of Brundisium, a place of the greatest 
importance to hold in case Alexander, the son of Pyrrhus, should 
revive his father's projects, and afterwards the chief point of 
departure from Italy to Greece (b.c. 267). It was connected 
with Rome by the extension of the Appian road from Capua, 
through Beneventum, Yenusia, and Tarentum. 

The whole of Italy was intersected .by military roads, and mili- 
tary colonies (several of which have been already mentioned) were 
established at the most commanding points, to keep the country 
in subjection, and to guard against iiTuptions of the Gauls on the 
north and north-east, where Ariminum was the key of the fron- 
tier. Those of the new colonies, as well as many of the older 
settlements, which were planted on the sea-shore, were charged 
with the special duty of guarding the coasts, their colonists being 
exempted from military service by land. For Rome, tliough a 
maritime city from the first, had not yet obtained naval suprem- 
acy in her own waters. The fleets of the Carthaginians, Etrus- 
cans, Massaliots and Syracusans, had long held the dominions of 
the seas, from which Rome might easily have been excluded but 
for her wise policy of commercial treaties with Carthage. The 
time was not remote when the piratical galleys of Antium had 
commanded the Latin coast, and we have seen Tarentum setting 
limits to Roman navigation. Some progress had been made 
during the last fifty years. The reduction of Antium and the 
surrender of its fleet was a first step to the formation of a navy, 
the importance of which was justly commemorated by the Rostra 
in the Forum (b.c. 338).* 

* See p. 288. 


The conquered cities of Magna Grsecia (beginning with Neapo- 
lis, B.C. 326), contributed certain numbers of ships to the Roman 
navj, which was organized in B.C. 311 by tlie appointment of two 
admirals {diwviri navales). Meanwliile the decline of the Etrus- 
cans had compelled them to yield to Carthage the maritime su- 
premacy they had once divided with her, and the continued success 
of the Carthaginians in Sicily had brought down Syracuse from 
the proud position which Dionysius had secured for her on the 
sea. Tlie Massaliots scarcely appeared on the coast of Italy, 
being content to preserve the mastery of their own waters, and 
to protect their commerce against Carthaginian and other inter- 
lopers. Thus the supremacy of Carthage was no longer disputed, 
and her relations to Rome are clearly defined by the commercial 
treaty of b.c. 306. The older treaty (b.c. 348), of which this was 
a renewal, had bound the Romans not to sail beyond C. Bon^ 
on the Carthaginian coast, but now, besides the supei'fluously 
jealous exclusion from the Atlantic, on the shores of which 
Carthage had begun to found settlements, they were prohibited 
from trading with Sardinia or the cities of the African coast, so 
that Carthage itself and Sicily alone remained open to their com- 
merce. Such an increase of jealousy contained the seeds of new 
dissension, which must have been fostered by the selfish policy of 
Carthage in carrying out the military convention against Pyrrhus. 
That alliance was the last friendly connection, in presence of a 
common danger, of the two republics, whose interests were clearly 
shown to be irreconcileable by the very pretence of concerted 
action. The contrasted attitudes of the Carthaginian fleet off the 
harbour of Tarentum and the army of Papirius outside its walls, 
each watching for the coveted prize, was an omen of the approach- 
ing rivalry for the dominion, first of Sicily and then of the world; 
and the preference given to the Romans over their dangerous 
allies famished them with a new centre of maritime power and a 
new motive for using it to the utmost. By the conquest of Bruttii 
in the same year, they obtained in the immense forest tract of * 
Sila, which contained a vast variety of timber and produced the 
best pitch then known, the materials for building a fleet. The 
maritime organization of the whole coast was provided for by the 
appointment of the four Qusestores of the fleet {Qucestores Classici), 
whose stations were at Ostia, the port of Rome, to command the 
Etruscan and Latin coasts ; at Cales, for Campania and Magna 
Grsecia ; at Ariminum, for the Adriatic coast ; but the station of 
the fourth is not named. Together with these preparations at 


home, the republic sought for alliances among the Greek mari- 
time states which had long been at enmity with Carthage. The 
close friendship which had long bound her to Massalia may 
perhaps be taken as another sign of the Hellenic element in the 
Roman state. The Greek merchants of that city, who had made 
a collection to aid in the restoration of Home after its destruction 
by the Gauls, received special commercial privileges, and a place 
at the games next to that of the senators.* A treaty was made in 
B.C. 306 with Rhodes, which had now established its independence 
in the midst of the eastern monarchies, and another with the 
Corinthian colony of Apollonia on the Illyrian coast. 

Thus, on the eve of the completion of her five-hundredth year, 
Rome had extended her dominion over all Italy, and was preparing 
to contend for the empire of the world. The confederated Latins, 
the wealthy cities of Etruria, the hardy races of the Sabellian 
stock, were each as unfit to take her place at the head of a united 
Italy, as they had proved unable to arrest her advance. Whatever 
sympathy may be felt with nations struggling for their independ- 
ence, whatever disgust at the heartless selfishness and bad faith 
which marked so many steps of the republic's progress, it is clear 
that Rome's aggrandizement was an essential part of that great 
plan, which is gradually developed at every step in the history of 
the world, and which is no more dependent on man's virtues than 
it is frustrated by his faults. The good will ever tend to work out 
good, the evil to retard it, and the choice between them is of infinite 
consequence to our own moral responsibility ; but the Supreme 
Ruler is ever teaching us how puny are our best efforts to give an 
impulse to His work, how powerless our worst opposition to re- 
sist it. The historian has no need to palliate the wi'ongs which 
Divine Providence overrules to its own designs ; and he must ever 
feel how partial and short-sighted are his most careful judgments 
of the character and motives of the actors. Wlien he has done 
his best to exalt self-sacrificing virtue, when he has poured out his 
indignation alike against the despot and the meanness which is 
dazzled by despotism, when he has stripped the veil from the 
selfish wrongs which are so often excused by the pretext of 
patriotism, he still shrinks from assuming the authority of a 
judge, and leaves every man to stand or fall to his own Master. 
It is his more grateful task to trace, by the light of faith in God's 
government of the world, the unfolding of the great scheme in 
which use is made of the cruel despotism, the haughty and selfish 
* It was called Grcecostasis, that is, the Greek platform. 


aristocracy, the headstrong and turbulent republic, as well as of 
the best ordered forms of tree but stable government ; to see how 
each agent has been fitted for his work, and how each part of the 
work has been assigned to the agent best able to do it. Rome was 
the power most fitted to unite Italy in one great state, preparatory 
to the union of the civilized world in one vast empire. The 
Romans alone, of all the Italian nations, added to the highest 
courage and the most unflinching perseverance the profoundest 
respect for law ^d discipline. Rome alone possessed the secret 
of welding the fragments successfully brought together by con- 
quest into a political whole, in which municipal ft-eedom was 
reconciled with the unity and supremacy of the central power ; 
while her internal struggles had resulted in a constitution which, 
though containing, like all others, the seeds of dissolution, had 
enough of vitality and permanence to enable her citizens to pre- 
sent a united front to the world. The exteraal and internal con- 
flicts of five centuries, like the fierceness of the blast-furnace, and 
the perpetual blows of the hammer, had given her the strength of 
that metal, which is her prophetic symbol, and prepared her to do 
in the political world that universal work which it does in the 
material. *' The fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron ; foras- 
much as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things : and as 
iron that breaketh in pieces all these, shall it break in pieces and 
bruise." * 

The successive steps by which Rome advanced to this position 
have been traced at each stage of the narrative. It only remains 
to take a summary view of her present constitution, in its relation 
to the empire ^e had established in Italy. Of the extent and 
nature of that empire, an excellent general idea is given by Dr, 
Arnold : " Thus the whole extent of Italy, from the Macra and 
the Rubicon to Rhegium and Brundisium, was become more or 
less subject to Rome. But it was not merely that the several 
Italian nations were to follow in war where Rome might choose to 
lead them ; nor yet that they paid a certain tribute to the sover- 
eign state, such as Athens received from her subject allies. The 
Roman dominion in Italy had wrested large tracts of land from 
the conquered nations in every part of the peninsula ; forests, 
mines, and harbours had become the property of the Roman 
people, from which a large revenue was derived, so that all classes 
of Roman citizens were enriched by their victories ; the rich ac- 
quired a great extent of land to hold in occupation ; the poor 

• Daniel ii. 40. 


obtained grants of land in freehold by an agrarian law ; while the 
great increase of revenue required a greater number of persons to 
collect it, and thus, from the quaestors to the lowest collector or 
clerks employed under them, all the officers of government became 
suddenly multiplied.'' - These state possessions and administrative 
functions secured to the central government a supreme authority 
which was felt in its ramifications throughout the whole peninsula ; 
and, while the several peoples retained their own language and 
national existence, their own laws and internal administration, 
they were constantly becoming more and more Romanized. The 
republic was a more compact state than its rival Carthage, or than 
the great eastern monarchies had ever been. 

It is not, however, easy to define the precise limits between the 
pohtical supremacy of Rome and the rights that were left to the 
Italian states. The sovereign prerogatives of making war in 
which all the subject nations must lend their aid, of concluding 
treaties by which they were all bound, and of coining money which 
circulated through the whole peninsula, belonged of course to the 
sovereign city.f "It is probable," as Mommsen points out, "that 
formally the general rights of the leading community extended no 
further : but to these rights there was necessarily attached a pre- 
rogative of sovereignty that practically went far beyond them." 
One of the most powerful means of extending that sovereignty 
was the incorporation of the subject states more or less closely 
with Rome, while they were debarred from exercising among 
themselves those rights which were granted them in relation to 
the sovereign state. We have seen, from time to time, now the 
Romans conferred on their conquered subjects or their voluntary 
allies various degrees of then* own political and social privileges. 
The result was that the states of Italy came under three distinct 
classes : — the Roman Citizens, the Lathi Name, and the Allies.X 
The first class, as the name implies, contained all that had been 

* Arnold, History of Rome, vol. ii. pp. 532, 533. 

f It was in b. c. 269 that the Romans first added to their old cumbrous and copper 
money a silver comage, conformed to that of the Greek states. The denarim (nomi.' 
nally equal to ten ases or pounds of copper) was intended to be equal to the Greek 
drachma, and was worth nearly 9J. This was the chief current coin throughout 
Italy. The Eomans kept their own accounts in sesterces {se-^tertii). The sesterce 
was a small silver coin, of the nominal value of two and a half ases, and really 
equal to one-fourth of the denarius, or 2J(f. It represented the original value of 
the as, when it was really a pound of copper, as libralis. See further, on the whole 
Bubject, the author's articles on Roman weights and money in the Dictionary of 

\ Gives Romani, Nomsn Latinum, Socii. 


admitted to the full Roman fraiicliise, by the extension of which Rome 
had been enlarged from an urban community to a wide-spread tem- 
tory. From the Ciminian forest in Etruria to beyond the Liris in 
Campania, large tracts of land had been included in the domain of 
the republic, and added to the number of the Roman tribes, which 
were thus made up to thirty-three. Veii (with its chief allies), 
the Sabines, the Latins, the Yolscians, -^quians, and other 
Sabellian tribes, and a great part of the Campanians, had been 
thus incorporated, with a few exceptions even in Latium, such as 
Tibur and Prseneste, from which the full citizenship was withheld- 
On others it was only conferred in its social, to the exclusion of 
political, rights.* To the cities included in this public domain, 
the boundaries of which cannot be accurately defined, must be 
added some of the Roman colonies throughout Italy ; but the greater 
nmnber of the colonies fell under the next head. "With reference 
to the formation of this class of Roman citizens, it should be 
borne in mind that the admission of the people of a foreign state 
into the dominant civic body was originally regarded as a gain to 
the latter rather than to the former, who lost the rights of citizen- 
ship in their own states, in order that Rome might be relieved 
from the rivalry of independent neghbours. It was not till she 
had become the mistress of a great empire that the enjoyment of 
her citizenship could be prized as the highest privilege ; and a 
native of Tusculum, for example, must long have regarded the 
change with a regret like that of an Irish patriot for the parlia- 
ment on College Green. From this point of view we can under- 
stand the eagerness of Rome to confer her citizenship on the 
people of other states, nay even to impose it as the penalty of 
defeat in wai*. But when she became a sovereign state, she began 
to restrict what was now truly a privilege, and to place those who 
would in earlier days have been full citizens in one of the two 
classes that are still to be described. 

The Latin Name must not be confounded with the Latin cities, 
nearly all of which, as we have just seen, possessed the full 
.Roman franchise. It originated from the time when Rome, having 
recently become the head of the states of Latium, joined the 
Latins in sending out colonies, besides those founded by herself 
alone. These " Latin colonies" — as they were called in contra- 
distinction to those purely Roman — enjoyed only such civic rights 
as were at first granted to the conquered cities of Latium ; the 
most important being the freedom of trading and inheriting pro* 

* This was called the civitas sbie suffroffio. 

B.C. 266.] • EOMAX COLOMSATION. 329 

pertj withiu tlie Roman state, and the privilege of any of their 
citizens to be enrolled in one of the Roman tribes on migrating to 
Rome. By the increasing jealousy with which, as we have just 
seen, the Romans afterwards guarded their citizenship, this privi- 
lege of becoming citizens by migration was confined to those who 
had held magistracies in a Latin state. Long before the present 
period, these colonies had ceased to have any connection with the 
Latins, and the name was perpetuated to describe a certain position 
of restricted civic privilege, which was granted to colonies sent 
out by Rome herself, and which the colonists were content to 
accept in consideration of the lands allotted to them. Most of 
the Roman colonies, in fact, belonged to this class. 

These colonies, whether " Roman" or " Latin," formed a vital 
part of the system by which the Roman empire was extended. 
They were in Italy, what Cicero calls the later colonies in distant 
lands, " bulwarks of the empire " {propugnacula imiyerii) ; and in 
return they leant for support upon the force of the mother city. 
They were at first founded in conquered districts, to keep the 
people in subjection ; and the colonists received a share — usually 
a third — of the conquered territory, from the cultivation of which, 
whether by themselves or the dispossessed proprietors as their 
tenants, they derived the name ever since used to describe such 
settlers.* No Roman colony could be composed of mere 
adventurers, going out at their own pleasure ; but each was sent 
forth by the vote either of the senate, or the centuries, or the 
plebs.f Leaders, usually three in number,:}: were appointed to 
conduct the colonists, who were entirely volunteers. The law 
defined each man's allotment of land. They marched to the 
appointed place in martial array and under military discipline.§ 
There a city was marked out by the plough, and the boundaries of 
its territory were carefully drawn ; and a number of functionaries, 
who accompanied the colony, proceeded to the work of land- 
measuring, building, organizing, preparing records, and providing 
for the administration of the law. The government of the colony 
was modelled on that of the parent state. There was a popular 
assembly, which chose the magistrates, and might even make 
laws, provided they did not clash with those of Rome. There 

* ColomiA from colere, to (ill. 
f By a senatus consuUum, a lez, or & plebisdtum. 

X Triumviri ad colonos deducendos. There were also decemviri, quinqueviri, and 
viffiniiviri, that is, ten, five, or twenty leaders. 
§ " Sub vexiUo" that is, under the standard. 


was a senate, the name of which recalled the old constitution of 
Rome.* There were chief magistrates, corresponding to the 
Roman consuls, and in a few instances called by the same name, 
but commonly designated by tlieir number, which was usually two, 
but not unfrequently four {duumviri or quattuorviri). Their 
office was annual, and as all great questions of policy were 
decided at Rome, their functions were chiefly judicial. In some 
of the Italian cities they were replaced by a pi-efect sent out 
annually from the capital. 

All the communities, which had neither the '* Roman citizen- 
ship" nor the " Latin name," were included under the name of 
Allien or Allied States,\ beneath which their subject condition was 
carefully veiled. Their relations to Rome were as various as the 
treaties by which they were admitted to her alKance. The Herni- 
cans, for example, nominally possessed their ancient equal league 
with Rome, though they would have asserted equal rights at their 
peril ; while the states last subdued, such as Tarentum and the 
Samnites, had scarcely a semblance of liberty left. Their alliance 
with Rome involved the dissolution of tlieii* old national leagues, 
which it was the constant Roman policy to break up ; and in some 
cases the members of the ancient confederacies were forbidden to 
intermarry ^vith each other. While the Roman army was still 
held to consist of the levy of the Roman and Latin citizens, the 
allies were bound to furnish contingents, apparently on a scale 
prescribed by treaty ; but in case of necessity their whole force 
would be at the disposal of Rome. Each state bore the expense 
of its own contingent, and the taxes raised for this purpose were 
enforced, if necessary, by Roman officers. The most costly muni- 
tions of war were provided by the Latin cities and the allies ; and 
the contingent of allied cavalry was thrice that raised by the 
Romans and the Latins. The Greek maritime cities, in the same 
way, furnished contingents to the fleet. Thus the allies added to 
the strength of Rome, while sharing none of the privileges of 
her citizens, except the material benefits of her government and 
her powerful protection from foreign foes. 

In the political government of the allied states, Rome pursued 
her great system of making her power the surer by moderation in 
its use, and preferring indirect influence to du*ect coercion. Like 
Sparta, she everywhere favoured the aristocratic party, and the 
result of this policy was seen in a striking case, when Capua 

* It was called curia or ordo decurionum : its members were curiales or decuriones. 
f Socii, FmderatcB Civiiaies, or FcederalL 


refused to join tlie Samnites. In no Italian state were the people 
reduced to a condition like tliat of the Lacedaemonian helots, nor 
does tribute seem to have been exacted, except trom the Celtic 
cantons, which were probably regarded as mere settlements of 
barbarians within the limits of the empire. Indeed, the first des- 
ignation by which the Italians were recognised as a united people, 
" the men of the toga " {togati), was used to distinguish them 
from the Celts, " the men of the hose " (hraccati) ;* ana the dis- 
tinction corresponded to the great geographical division between 
Gaul and Italy in the proper sense.f Within the latter limits, 
the toga became more and more the mark of Roman influence ; in 
other words, Italy became more and more Latinized. And the 
more successfully this process was carried on, the more impossible 
did it become to maintain the allied states in their inferior position. 
Such a condition was natural enough for newly conquered nations 
in a newly conquered land ; but when the Italians saw the Roman 
empire overspreading the world, extended by their own toil and 
blood, they must have felt that the seat of that empire was no 
longer Rome, but Italy, and that all Italians ought to have an 
equal share of privilege. The assertion of these claims was 
postponed while the subject states were rushing on side by side 
with the Romans in the career of victory ; but at length they had 
to be conceded, and the Lex Julia conferred the full Roman 
citizenship on the Allies as well as on the Latins, whose cities 
were included under the general name ofmunicijna (b.c. 90). 

Thus within ten years of the departure of Pyn-hus from Italy, 
the country had become imited, at the expense of the liberties of 
its several states, and Rome had grown to a truly sovereign power. 
The changes which had meanwhile taken place in her own constitu- 
tion, though giving avast increase of power to the popular element, 
had not deprived her of that concentrated force which is wielded 
by aristocracy. The growth of great families among the ple- 
beians reinforced the upper classes ; and, though the exclusive 
aristocracy of birth had been broken down, the aristocracy of wealth 
possessed an overwhelming influence. A stable centre for that 
influence was provided in the senate, whose initiative in receiving 
ambassadors and in all questions of war and peace, gave it a pre- 

* It is curious that the Celts of Italy should have been distinguished by an article 
of attire so " conspicuous by its absence " in those of our own island. In fact, some 
sort of pantaloons seem to have been worn by all the nations that surrounded the 
Greeks and Itahans, from the Persians to the Gauls. 

f See Chap. XIX p. 134. 


ponderating weight during the long career of military conflict on 
whicli Rome had. embarked. The constitution of this august 
body was now finally settled, and a path was opened to its honours 
for everv citizen who had the wealth to conduct a successful can- 
vass, h\ making its membership a direct and necessary result of an 
election to the first of the higher magistracies. It was in B.C. 268 
that the number of the qusestors was increased to eight ; and 
about the same time the discretion of the censors in excluding a 
past magistrate from a seat in the senate — except for "infamy" 
— ^was abolished. On the expiration of their office, the quaestors 
entered the senate with the right of speaking, and vacancies were 
filled up from their number on the next censorial revision. The 
assembly, thus frequently recruited from a class whom the people 
had recently elected, became the representative of all orders in the 
state, and the august majesty with which it spoke to foreigners 
was the true voice of the Roman people. Compared with this 
power, that of the consuls, who held office only for a year, was 
really insignificant.* 

On the minor political changes of this period it is unnecessary 
to dwell. The attempt of the censor Appius Claudius to increase 
the influence of the great families by allowing their freedmen (the 
emancipated slaves) to enrol themselves in any tribe they pleased 
(B.C. 312) was reversed by the censors Fabius and Decius, who 
confined them to the four city tribes (b.c. 304). The distinction 
between the country and city tribes was still marked by a differ- 
ence of manners and occupations, which we could wish to have 
better means of tracing. The members of the country tribes were 
still rustics, though fully sensible of their stake in the greatness 
of the city and their share in her glory. They went up to Rome 
to take jjart in the elections and ia voting upon important meas- 
ures, to present themselves at the military levies, or to transact 
law and other private business. ""With these exceptions, and 
when they were not serving in the legions, they lived on their 
small properties in the country ; their business was agriculture, 
their recreations were country sports, and their socisd pleasures 
were found in the meetings of their neighbours at seasons of 
festival; at these times there would be dancing, music, and often 
some pantomimic acting, or some rude attempts at dramatic 
dialogue, one of the simplest and most universal amusements of 
the human mind. This was enough to satisfy all their intellectual 

* We have not space to describe the details of the senate's constitution, a subject 
vbicfa is admirablj treated in Dr. Mommsen's History. 

B.C. 266.] STUDY OF EOiTAX LAW. 333 

cra\^ugs ; of the beauty of painting, sculpture, or architecture, of 
the charms of eloquence and of the higest poetrv, of the deep 
interest which can be excited by inquiry into the causes of all the 
wonders around us and within us, of some of the highest and 
most indispensable enjoyments of an Athenian's nature, the agri- 
cultural Romans of the fifth century had no notion whatsoeyer."* 
But the life of a nation is more than the most refined pleasures ; 
and, while the polished and philosophical Athenians were yielding 
their liberty to tyrant after tyrant, and worshipping Demetrius 
Poliorcetes as a god, the Latin and Sabine farms were rearing 
such men as Fabricius and "Curius with his unkempt locks," to 
conquer kings in dignity as well as in arms. 

The Eomans of the city, enjoying that higher intellectual 
actiyity which is purchased at so great a cost of serene pleasure, 
and sometimes of profounder energy, had some scope for their 
powers in the conduct of political affairs, like the Athenians. But 
practical politics can neyer eugross the mind of a thoughtful man, 
and it was well for after ages that the most masculine minds of 
Rome found a special field for those speculatiye energies which 
the Greeks deyoted to literature and philosophy. There seems to 
have been something in the character of the people, and there 
was very much in the working of the constitution, to turn their 
thoughts to the study of law. It was part of the inheritance handed 
down by the patriarchal constitution, that the heads of families 
must be able to adjust and defend the rights of their clansmen and 
their clients by knowledge as well as power ; and the hall of every 
Roman nobleman was a waiting room, thronged with Mends and 
dependents who came to consult him on his first appearance in the 
morning. There were some families, in particular, that sought in 
lesislation and ciyil administration the fame which most of their 
compeers won by arms. Such was the Claudian house, which 
could boast of the Decemyir and the Censor, of the Laws of the 
Twelve Tables and the Appian Road. Tiberius Coruncanius, the 
colleague of Loevinus in the first campaign against Pyrrhus, 
appears to have been the first of those " counsel learned in the 
law" {juriscon-sidti) who devoted themselves to the task of direct- 
ing all who came to seek their advice, and whose opinions consti- 
tuted that great body of unwritten law, '* the answers of skilled 
lawyers " {responsa jynidentium). A remarkable step was taken 
towards the general publication of such learning by Gnieus 
Flavins, the secretary of the censor Appius Claudius, who pub- 

* Arnold's History of Rome, voL iL pp. 448, 449. 


listed a book describing the technical fonns of pleading and the 
rules for fixing the sittings of the courts — ^matters which the 
patricians had hitherto kept as the secrets of their order. Though 
the son of a freedman, Flavius was enrolled by his patron in the 
senate, and elected Curule JEdile by the people. His work 
appears to have been the first that was written on Koman law. 

Of general literature, except the Pontifical Annals and the 
genealogical registers of great families, there was an absolute 
dearth ; for the Hellenic impulse, to which all Roman literature 
owed its origin, with one remarkable exception, only appears for 
the first time in the tragedies of Livius Andronicus, himself a 
Greek, after the First Punic War. The only approach to dra^ 
matic composition was in the Fahuloe. Atellan(B, already men- 
tioned as borrowed from the Oscans of Campania, — a rude, coarse 
dialogue on some ludicrous subject. There was another form of 
indigenous poetry, not yet dignified with the name of litera- 
ture, but destined to receive a brilKant development. Satire has 
been well described as a hardy, prickly shrub of genuine Latin 
growth, and by far the best product of the soil. It originated with 
the strolling minstrels or ballad singers, who went from town to 
town and from house to house, dancing to the music of the flute 
and chanting the medleys {saturoe),* which they either impro- 
vised or had previously composed on any subject suggested by 
their own fancy or suited to their hearers, in a peculiar metre 
called the Saturnian^ which survives in the fragments of Xaevius, 
and in some epitaphs of the age we are now describing. These 
ballads formed a part of the entertainments provided for the 
Poman people, in conjunction with musicians, dancers, rope- 
walkers, jugglers, and Etruscan pantomimists, at the Great 
Games, besides the chariot races which were the proper business 
of that gi'eat national festival, the origin of which is referred to 
the age of the Tarquins. Those games, preserved with religious 
reverence, and converted from an occasional into an annual festival, 

* The etymology of this word is still in dispute ; but there seems no good reason for 
rejecting the obvious explanation derived from its use as a common noun. ^Mien Ten- 
nyson calls his " Princess " a medley, no one hesitates to seek (though not every one 
succeeds in finding) his meaning in the common sense of the latter word. So when 
we find satura, derived from satur (full), signifdng a dish of various sort;3 of food, and 
when we are besides told by Dionysius that the poetical salura was made up of various 
kinds of poems, we can hardly doubt whence the satirists obtained the name of the dish 
they set before their hearers. There is no direct connection with the Greek Satyrs and 
Satyric Drama, though it is quite possible that the latter name came ultimately from the 
same root. 

B.C. 266.] GAMES OF THE CIRCUS. 335 

when the curule sediles were appointed to superintend them (n.c. 
36Y), furnished the nucleus of a national theatre, especially when 
a stage was erected in the Circus Maximus, and a sum provided by 
the state for the exhibitions just referred to (b.c. 364). But, 
though a century had elapsed since that time, there was still a 
prejudice against the performers, both rooted in public feeling and 
embodied in the law. The art of the poet and mimist seems to 
have been despised as generally practised by low foreigners, Oscan 
and Etruscan, feared as an instrument of the enchanter, and disap- 
proved as a weapon aimed at public order and private character. 
The Twelve Tables forbad alike the incantations of the sorcerer, 
the dirges of hired mourners, and the personal attacks of the 
lampooner ; and Cato tells us that " in former times the trade of 
a poet was not respected ; if any one occupied himself therewith, 
or addicted himself to banquets, he was called an idler ; " and the 
practice of such arts for pay was held as a special degradation. 
Performers were excluded by the censors from the army and the 
comitia. The magistrates sat in judgment on their performances ; 
and the actor who presumed on the grudging patronage of the 
state might pay for his want of success with imprisonment and 
stripes. Such discouragements effectually postponed the rise of 
a national dramatic literature. None but persons of a low class 
would become performers; and these were for the most part 

On the other hand, the chariot races were held in the greatest 
honour, and presided over by the highest magistrate present at 
Rome. At first two chariots ran at a time, their drivers being 
distinguished by colours, which were supposed to have reference to 
the seasons, the white for the winter snow, the 7^ed for the summer 
heat : two others were afterwards added, the green for spring, and 
the hlue or grey for autumn. Each colour had of course its own 
eager partisans ; but it was not till the time of the empire that they 
became symbols of political factions, and at last the emblems of 
those feuds which deluged the circus of Constantinople with blood. 
The games of the circus must not be dismissed without a mention 
of that fatal symptom of degeneracy, the first exhibition of gladia- 
torial shows in the first year of the Punic Wars (b.c. 264) as a 
part of the solemnities at the funeral of D. Junius Brutus. The 
practice is said to have been borrowed from the Etruscans, as 
a substitute for the human sacrifices ofiered from time im- 
memorial at the funerals of great men, as for example at that of 
Patroclus in the Iliad, that the deceased might not depart un- 


attended by tlie souls of enemies or followers. It is supposed 
that the victims on this occasion were the Etruscan prisoners from 
Volsinii, the conquest of which city in this year completed the 
subjugation of Etruria. 

Such, in brief outline, was the condition of the republic at the 
close of what has well been called the spring-time of its exist- 
ence. And it is most important to notice that Rome achieved the 
conquest of Italy just at the time when the kingdoms founded by 
the successors of Alexander in the East had reached their highest 
pitch. The place of Rome was now clearly acknowledged, as one 
of the great powers of the world, by the chief among those king- 
doms. As the Italian expedition of Pyrrhus had derived its 
impulse from the conflicts that had been waged for half a century 
for the dominion of Greece and Asia, so his repulse naturally 
brought his conquerors within the sphere of Grecian politics. 
While the Epu'ot was exciting new alarm by his victories in 
Greece, an embassy arrived at Rome fi'om Ptolemy Philadelphus, 
king of Egypt, to propose an alliance with the republic (e.g. 273). 
The Romans, in return, sent an embassy of three of their most 
distinguished senators to Alexandi'ia — then at the height of its 
political power and literary glory. The envoys would not have been 
Romans, if the sight of all this splendour, following upon their 
victory over PyiThus, had not roused in their minds the prophetic 
anticipation of an approaching struggle with the Hellenic race 
for the dominion of the world. But, before the decision of that 
question between the two branches of their common race, a long 
war had to be waged for life and death with the great Semitic 
power, which was the common enemy of both. Rome had to 
conquer Carthage in a struggle which brought herself to the brink 
of ruin, before she was prepared to subdue the kindi-ed Greeks. 





B.C. 263—130. 

VOL. II. — 22 









" Urbs antiqua fuit, Tyrii tenuere coloni 
Carthago, Italiam contra Tj-berinaque longfe 
Ostia ; dives opum, studiisque asperrima belli." — ^Virgil. 






TVhen Pyrrhus sailed from the shores of Sicily, he is reported 
to have exclaimed, " How fine a battle-field are we leaving to the 
Romans and Carthaginians ! " That island has been described as 
geographically belonging to Italy, as truly as the Peloponnesus 
belongs to Greece ; and that a political division at the straits of 
Messina is as unnatural as the partition of Italy itself, is proved 
by the fact that Sicily and the South of Italy have generally been 
held by the same or kindred nations. The Siceli, from whom the 
island received its name, were, as we have seen, the same people 
as the Itali of the peninsula. The Hellenic settlements studded 
the shores alike of Magna Graecia and of Sicily. By the events 
now about to be related, the natural union of the island with 
the peninsula was established by the Romans ; and it was pre- 
served under their Gothic successors. When the kingdom of the 
Lombards was founded in Italy in the sixth century, the Greek 
empire held Sicily in conjunction with the duchies of Naples and 
Rome under the exarchate of Ravenna. Rent from Italy by the 
Arabs in the ninth century, as it had nearly been by the Cartha- 
ginians, Sicily was reunited to the peninsula by the Norman 
adventurers of the eleventh century ; and the union of the island 


with Southern Italy was perpetuated (with some interruptions) 
in the kingdom of the two Sicilies ; till in onr day the hero who 
careated the new Italian kingdom began his work in Sicily. 

Bnt the voy eonfignration of the island seems to indicate the 
fete which has made it, in every age, the prey of adventurers from 
direrse qnarters. Severed firom Italy by the straits, it is exposed 
to be torn fiwm its connection by a superior maritime power. If its 
northern coast feces the p^iinsnla, its eastern shore looks towards 
Greece, and its sonthem towards Africa : and we have already 
seen how these aspects were significant of its destinies thus far. 
For centuries, the Greek republics and the power of Carthage had 
been contending for its possession. The decline of the former had 
brought the latter up to ^e very straits : and across them Eome 
and Cartilage now eyed each other with a jealousy about to break 
out into an internecine war, in which the Greeks now represented 
only by the rule of BQero at Syracuse, were unable to take more 
than a subordinate part. The conflict was brought on by a cause 
apparently insignificant. 

While the war was raging between Pyrrhus and the Homans, it 
happened by a strange eoincidence that the cities of Khegium and 
Messana, on the opposite shores of the straits, fell into the hands 
of independent freebooters, alike the enemies of both. We have 
seen how the Campanian mercenaries, who garrisoned Khegitmi for 
Borne, revolted on the first successes of Pyrrhus. Their massacre 
of the Greek inhabitants would make them as odious to Pyrrhus 
as tbeir revolt was unpardonable by the Romans. They were 
encouraged to defy both, and to hold the city for themselves, by 
the example of thdr kinsmen on the other side of the straits. A 
body of Cbmpanian mercenaries, who had served under Agatho- 
cles, having been marched to Messana, on their way back to Italy, 
rose upon the citizens, wbo had received them hospitably, mas- 
sacred all the males, and took possession of their wives and 
property (about b.c. 2S4). By assuming the title of MameHini 
(children of Mamers, or Mars) they likened themselves to the 
chosen bands which had been sent forth by their Sabellian ances- 
tors in their " sacred spring," Both cities thus became nests of 
robbefs, preying on the adjacent territories ; and, while the gar- 
rison of Bh^um were strong enough to make war on Locri, the 
Mamertin^ of M^sana c^ried terror as far as the gates of Syra- 
cuse. The first busing of the Bomans after the capture of 
Tarentum was, as we have se^ to pimish the revolters of Bhegium 
(Ra 271). 


Meanwhile the Mamertines were maintained against Pyrrhns by 
the help of the Carthaginians. On his retreat they formed a third 
power in Sicily, occupying the north-eastern part, while Syracuse 
possessed only a small territory in the south-east, and the Cartha- 
ginians held the rest of the island. But a new impulse was 
given to Syracuse by the election of Hiero, the son of Hierocles, 
to succeed Pyrrhus as general of the Greeks (b.c. 275). Though 
at first raised to power by the soldiei-s against the will of the 
citizens, he soon won over the latter by his wise and moderate 
government. He got rid, by a treacherous stroke, of the mercena- 
ries who had been the tools of former Syracusan tyrants, and, 
having remodelled the citizen army, he led them out to extirpate 
the nest of robbers at Messana. By a great victory, he gained 
the title of king of the Sicilian Greeks, and shut up the Mamertines 
in the city (b.c. 270). 

After the siege had lasted for five years, the Mamertines, re- 
duced to the last extremity, and hopeless of mercy from Hiero, saw 
that their only resource was surrender either to Carthage or to 
Rome. The majority decided that to give Eome a footing in 
Sicily would constitute a perfect claim upon her gratitude ; and 
envoys were sent to the Senate, to ofi'er the surrender of the city. 
It seemed at first impossible that the Eomans could accept such a 
gift from the partners in guilt of those they had just so severely 
punished, and punished by the aid of that very ally against whom 
the Mamertines asked their protection. The suggestions of 
cautious policy, too, tended the same way as the dictates of good 
faith. To give the assistance asked, must not only precipitate a war 
with Carthage, but would lead the Eomans beyond the boundaries 
of Italy. But on the other hand, it was certain that on their re- 
fusal the city would be given over to the Carthaginians, whose 
attempt to seize Tarentum seemed to justify the Romans in gaining 
a footing on the coast of Sicily. The Senate, as the representative 
of the moderate and cautious party, still hesitated, when the con- 
suls referred the question to the comitia of the centuries. That 
assembly, subject to the impulses by which masses of men are 
moved, heard only the voice that called them to new conquests 
beyond the shores of Italy, and bade them not to sufier the Car- 
thaginians to seize a post within sight of their shores. Aid was 
voted to the Mamertines ; and a device was invented to bring that 
aid within the semblance of public law. They were treated with, 
not as revolted mercenaries, but as Italians established at a foreign 
post, and were received, just like the other Italians, into the con- 


federacy of Rome, who proclaimed herself the protector of the 
Italians beyond the seas. A mandate was despatched to Hiero, 
requiring him to desist from attacking the allies of Eome ; and an 
embassy was sent to Carthage, to prepare an indirect justification 
of the war, by demanding an explanation of the attempt to seize 
Tarentum seyen years before. The Carthaginians did not scruple 
to purge themselves from the charge by an oath ; and their answers 
to other causes of complaint, which were raked up to strengthen 
the Eoman case, were studiously moderate ; for it was not their 
policy to precipitate ian open war (b.c. 265). 

These hollow negotiations were still in progress, and the Roman 
preparations to cross the straits were all but complete, when news 
arrived that the Carthaginians had appeared before Messana in 
the character of mediators, and concluded a peace between Hiero 
and the Mamertines ; and that then the anti-Eoman party had 
surrendered the citadel and harbour to the Carthaginian forces 
under Hanno. Still the consul, Appius Claudius, would not aban- 
don the enterprise. His advanced ships were warned back by the 
Carthaginians; and a few of them were 'taken, but these were 
sent back to avoid a cause of war. A second attempt was more 
successful. Claudius, the consul's legate, landed at Messana, and 
called a meeting of the citizens, at which Hanno, who was present 
in the character of a friend, was seized, and consented to evacuate 
the place. He was punished with death by the Carthaginians, 
who sent a great armament, under Hanno the son of Hannibal, to 
besiege Messana by sea and land ; while Hiero, who had with- 
drawn at the bidding of the Romans, renounced their alliance for 
the time, and returned to the attack. The siege was speedily 
raised by the consul Appius Claudius, who eluded the Carthagi- 
nian fleet and transported his whole army from Rhegium under 
the cover of night. He kept the field throughout the summer, 
inflicting several blows on the enemy, and even advancing to the 
gates of Syracuse, and then led his army back in safety, leaving a 
strong garrison in Messana (b.c. 264j. The following year was 
marked by a similar but still more successful campaign. Both 
consuls crossed the straits unopposed, and defeated the Cartha- 
ginians and Syracusans in a battle which had the most important 
political results. For Hiero, finding the issue now fairly raised, 
whether the Romans or the Carthaginians were to be masters of 
Sicily, wisely chose the fi'iendship of the former, and remained 
their firm ally during the rest of his life and reign, which was 
protracted to nearly fitly years (b.c. 263). His example was 


B.C. 264.] THE FIEST PUXIC WAE. 343 

followed by all the Sicilian Greeks ; and thus, besides the 
strength of their alliance, the Romans gained the all-important 
posts of Syracuse and Messana. "With such a basis, they had little 
difficulty in driving back the Carthaginians, in a third campaign, 
to their fortresses on the coast. The only inland city at which a 
stand was made was Agrigentum, into which Hannibal, the son of 
Gisgo, threw himself with 50,000 men. The Romans blockaded 
the city for seven months, reducing the besieged to the utmost 
distress ; but their own case became little better, when Hanno 
landed at the port of Heraclea, and cut off their supplies. Both 
parties resolved on a battle, as the only relief from their embarrass 
ments. The Romans felt for the first time the superiority of the 
terrible ITumidian horse, but their legions secured them a dear- 
bought victory, which left them too exhausted to prevent the 
escape of the Carthaginians from the city to their fleet (b.c. 

Thus the First Puxic Was. had opened with three campaigns 
which had nearly given the Romans the coveted prize of Sicily. 
But they had only just entered on the long conflict of foiir-and- 
twenty years. While Hamilcar, .the successor of Hanno, en- 
trenched himself in the maritime fortresses, by his sallies from 
which alone hostilities were continued in the island, the Romans 
had to prepare, for the first time in their history, to sustain the 
burthen of a maritime war with the power that was mistress of 
the sea. This pause in the operations aftbrds an opportunity for 
casting back a glance on the previous history of the Carthaginians, 
and of the PhcEnician race from which they sprang, and of which 
they were now the chief representatives.* 

The Phcenicians claim a conspicuous place in the history of the 
world, not so much from any influence they had on the great 
movements of political events, as from theii* imexampled activity 
in commerce and colonization. Hence it is that, in the past course 
of our narrative, they have only occasionally appeared as conduct- 
ing the commerce which enriched the nations of Western Asia 
and supported the magnifience of Solomon, — as resisting, with 
truly Semitic obstinacy, the attacks of conquerors, such as iN'ebu- 
chaduezzar and Alexander, — and as aflbrding to the Pei*sian empire 
the assistance of their powerful marine. It remains to take a 

* The Romans preserved the memory of the Phcenician origin of the Carthaginians 
by the name of Fceni (with its derived adjective Ptcniats) which they applied to them 
indifferently with that of Cariliaginiensis. The adjective Punic signifies Phoenician by 
etymology, but Carthaginian by usage. 


brief connected view of their gradual growth iu that commercial 
greatness, w^iich had its centre in the ancient cities of Phoenice, — 
Sidon, Tyre, and their sisters, — and of that system of colonization 
which carried tliem over the western coasts of the Mediterranean, 
and beyond the pillars of Hercules to the shores and islands of 
the Atlantic. 

Like so many other peoples, both of the ancient and modem 
world, the Phoenicians are commonly known by a name different 
from that by which they called themselves. Phonnice is a Greek 
word, signifying "the land of the date-palm;" but various 
ancient writers have recorded the fact, that the native name of the 
country was Chna, that is, Canaan. On a coin of the time of 
Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian Laodicea is entitled " a mother 
city in Canaan ; " and St. Augustine tells us that the African 
peasants of his bisphoric of Hippo (a colony of the Phoenicians), 
when asked of what race they were, would reply in the Punic 
dialect " Canaanites." All this agrees with the statement in the 
tenth chapter of Genesis, which makes Sidon the first-born of 
Canaan, and places him at the head of various tribes that over- 
spread what is commonly known as the land of Canaan, and the 
extent of whose settlements is defined as reaching from Sidon to 
the cities in the plain of the Dead Sea.* Canaan is, in fact, a geo- 
graphical term, signifying " lowland," as opposed to Aram^ "high- 
land" (the Hebrew name of Syria), and it is applied both to the 
Mediterraneafn coast, and to the great plain which extends from 
the Dead Sea up the valley of the Jordan and through Ccele-Syria 
to the valley of the Orontes. How closely tlie different tribes of 
Canaanites or "lowlanders" were connected with one another is 
proved by the leagues of the Sidonians and Hamathites with the 
nations of Palestine in the time of Joshua. 

But this use of a common geographical name by no means neces- 
sitates the conclusion, that all the tribes that bore it were of. the 
same race ; nor does the occurrence of Sidon among the descendants 
of Ham necessarily imply that the Phoenicians of the historic age 
were a Hamite race. We have already seen that, in the ethnical 
genealogies of Scripture, the recurrence of the same name in differ- 
ent pedigrees indicates the succession of different races in the 
same regions. ISTow the evidence is complete, that the dialects 
both of Phoenicia and Carthage belonged to the Semitic family of 
languages, and were closely akin to the Hebrew. The fact is dis- 
tinctly testified by the fathers Augustine and Jerome, — who knew 

* Genesis x. 15 — 19. 


Hebrew well, and were able to compare it witli Punic, which was 
then a living dialect, — that the languages diifered little from each 
other. The proper names are easily explained by Hebrew etymol- 
ogies ; and the legends on Phoenician coins, and the fragments of 
the Carthaginian dialect preserved by ancient wi'iters, are intelli- 
gible to the Hebrew scholar ; nay, the very name of the citadel of 
Carthage, Byrsa, is the Hebrew Bozrah, that is, a fortress.* If 
then we are to believe, on the authority of the scriptural genealogy, 
that the primeval settlements of the Hamite race in Southern 
Canaan extended to the Phoenician coast, it would seem necessary 
to suppose that these were afterwards overrun by a Semitic immi- 
gration, which would necessarily adopt something of the character 
of the older population. The religion of Phoenicia, especially, seems 
to bear distinct traces of Hamitic superstitions.f 

To the question, whence that tide of Semitic immigration flowed, 
the Phoenicians themselves gave a very interesting answer, which 
is preseiwed by Herodotus. Visiting the temple of Hercules (Mel- 
carth) at Tyre, to learn if he could reconcile the conflicting accounts 
of the Greeks and Egyptians concerning that deity, he was informed 
that the Tyrians had settled on that coast and built their city 2300 
years before his time (more than 2700 b.c), and that they had 
come originally from the shores of the Red Sea.:}: The same ti-adi- 
tion is preserved in various forms by other ancient waiters ; and 
some of the most diligent modern enquirers into primeval history 
have come to the conclusion, that the migration of the Phoenicians 
from the shores of the Ped Sea was connected with the great 
movement of the Semitic tribes up the valley of the Euphrates, 
which brought the family of Abraham into the land of Canaan.§ 

Be this as it may, the Phoenicians are found, in the earliest ages 
of recorded history, occupying the narrow strip of coast between 
Lebanon and the Mediterranean, west of Coele-SjTia and Galilee, 
from about the 35th parallel of north latitude to Mount Carmel. 
Here they founded great maritime cities, originally independent of 
each other, of which the most ancient were Arvad (Aradus) in the 
north, and Sidon and Tyre on the south. To these were afterwards 

* In fact, the Hebrew seems to have derived its existing form from the influence of 
the Canaanite dialects, and hence it is called in Scripture " the language of Canaan," — 
Isaiah xix. 18. 

f From the mention of Sidon alone, of all the Phoenician cities, in Genesis x., we 
may perhaps infer that the Hamite element was most distinctly marked in that city ; and 
that this was one cause of its rivalry with Tyre for supremacy. 

\ Herod.^ ii. 44 ; comp. i. 1, vii. 89. 

§ Rawlinson's Herodotus, vol. iv. Essay ii. On the Migrations of the Phoenicians. 


added Berytus, Byblus, and Tripolis. The "rock-built" Tyre* 
disputed the honour of antiquity with Sidon, " the city of fisher- 
men," which claimed to be its mother-city. When Palestine was 
conquered by the Israelites, the latter was important enough to be 
called "great Sidon," and was the northernmost city included 
within the bounds of the Holy Land. It was assigned, with the 
" strong city Tyre," to the tribe of Asher, who, instead of subduing 
their part of Phcenicia, became tributary to the Phoenicians.f 

These notices show us the two chief cities of the Phoenicians 
at a high degree of power as early as the middle of the fifteenth 
ceutmy b.c. Besides these settlements on the coast, the king- 
dom of Hamath, on the Upper Orontes, seems to have been of 
PhoBuician origin, and it took an active part in the wars against 
the Israelites under Joshua. In the time of the Judges, the 
Sidonians are mentioned among the oppressors of Israel. In the 
Homeric poems we often meet with Sidon, Sidonia, and the 
Sidonians, as flom'ishing in wealth and art, especially in the 
manufacture of beautiful woven fabrics, carrying on an extensive 
commerce, both in goods and in slaves, and characterized by 
cunning in their dealings. The absence of the very name of Tyre 
from Homer is hardly a decisive proof of its insignificance ; for 
the Greeks may naturally have denoted the country and people by 
the name of the city with which they became first acquainted. 
The mythical stories of Greece, and the traditions of the Phoenician 
colonies in the west, point to the twelfth and eleventh centuries 
as the period when the Phoenicians had ah-eady become active 
colonizers. Utica, on the African coast, was said to have been 
founded 200 years before Carthage, and Gades or Gadeira (Cadiz) 
outside the straits of Gibraltar, a few years earlier. The worship 
of the Tyrian Hercules (Melcarth) at the latter place is supposed 
to furnish a proof that Tyre was its mother city, and the legend of 
Cadmus also points to Tyre as the leading city of the Phoenicians. 
The historian Justin has preserved an interesting tradition, that, 
a year before the Trojan war, the Sidonians were defeated by the 
king of Ascalon, and the greater part of the inhabitants of Sidon 
took refuge in Tyre, which became from that time the chief city 
of Phoenicia. Such a collision between the Phoenicians and the 
Philistines is not improbable during the time of Israel's servitude 

* The Hebrew Tsor and the Greek Tipof are dialectic varieties of the Phcenieian 
name Sur or Sor^ which the spot still retaios. The word probably signifies a rock. 
Berytus and Byblus also claimed rery high antiquity. 

f Joshua xi. 8 ; xix. 28, 29. 


to the latter people ; and a common hostility to them would ftir- 
nish one motive for the close alliance between David and the 

With the formation of that alliance, in the latter half of the 
eleventh century e.g., we again reach safe historic ground. Tyre 
is now without dispute the leading city of Phoenicia. She places 
at the disposal of David and Solomon all the resources of art as 
well as wealth for the building of the temple, the grandest edifice 
which the world had yet seen, and the monument, not only of the 
piety of Israel, but of the riches and civilization of Phoenicia. 
Hiram, king of Tyre, was master of Lebanon and its forests. 
His ships not only commanded the commerce of the Mediter- 
ranean, but he joined with Solomon in naval enterprises in the 
Indian Ocean from the port of Elath (^lana) in the Eed Sea. 
The treaty made by the two kings furnishes a very interesting 
example of the relations between a commercial and agricultural 
people. From Abibal, the father of Hiram, down to the founda- 
tion of Carthage, Josephus has preserved a chronological list of 
kings, furnished by the Tyi-ian histories of Dius and Menander. 
The burthens imposed upon the people by Hiram, to support his 
foreign entei^prises and his magnificent works at Tyre, entailed a 
series of revolutions and assassinations of rulers, till Ithbaal or 
Ethbaal, a priest of Astarte, usurped the crown and foimded a 
sacerdotal dynasty, embracing Sidon as well as Tyre. The origin 
of his power throws light upon the fanatical attempts of his 
daughter Jezebel to establish the worship of Baal in the kingdom 
of Israel. The native annals of his reign recorded the great 
drought which forms so conspicuous a part of the story of Ahab 
and Elijah. In the reign of his great grandson Pygmalion, the 
brother and oppressor of Dido, we have a point of contact between 
the native annals and the legends of the classic poets, to wliich 
we shall recur presently in relation to the foundation of Carthage. 
The whole story seems to indicate a conflict of the royal . and 
hierarchical powers. 

The superior interest attached to the colony seems to have 
diverted the attention of compilers from the annals of the mother 
city, and our next mention of Tyre and Sidon occurs in the com- 
plaints of the prophets Joel and Amos of their inroads on the 
coasts of Judah, whence they carried off wealth to dedicate in 
their temples, and young men and maidens to sell as slaves 
to the Grecians."^ Tlie slave-trade of the Phoenicians is also 
* Joel iii. -4 — 8 ; Amos L 6, 9. This imroduction of Jewish slaves into Greece by 


noticed in those wonderful descriptions of Tyre by the prophets 
Isaiah and Ezekiel, which form an ahnost ideal picture of com- 
mercial greatness. " Slaves and the souls of men" are enumerated 
amonor the chief articles of her merchandise ; and those Scriptures 
which have been falsely said to sanction slaTery, mark this abom- 
inable traffic as one of the sins that were preparing terrible 
judgment for the proud city that said, " I am of perfect beauty : 
I am a god : I sit in the seat of God in the midst of the seas." * 
These prophetic pictures, illustrated by the light of history, reveal 
one feature of the deepest interest in the progress of civilization. 
" The luxury that enfeebles " is one of the commonplaces of moral 
philosophy, which history is supposed invariably to confirm. This 
may be true of nations whose greatness is founded on agriculture 
or on suce^ssfal war ; but in a purely commercial state it is quite 
possible for wealth to produce luxury and insolence, and at the 
same time to call forth a display of almost superhuman strength. 
The energy which is kept active in the pursuit of gain is ready to 
be expended in defence of wealth ; and self-interest has often 
proved a more potent stimulus than patriotism. Xo city ever with- 
stood her enemies more pertinaciously than Tyre. The successive 
conquerors of Western Asia made the acquisition of the Phcenician 
ports a chief object of their policy. Sargon succeeded so far as 
to unite the other cities in a confederacy against Tyi-e, which is 
said even to have been joined by the ancient city on the mainland, 
which was distinguished by the name of " Old Tyre." For Tyre 
had by this time become a doable city, the new town which was 
built on the island opposite to its ancient site having naturally 
become the stronghold. Its navy defeated the united fleets of its 
former subjects, and the city was besieged in vain for five years 
by Saigon (b.c. 721 — 717). The interval of 150 years, between 
this sieo-e and that bv Ifebuchanezzar. seems to have been a 
period of steady prosperity, during a part of which at least 
Phoenicia was in close alliance with Egypt. It was by the aid of 
a Phoenician fleet that Iseko is said to have achieved the circum- 
navigation of Africa (about b.c. 610 j.f The Phcenicians had soon 
to feel the whole weight of the new Babylonian power. !N^ebu- 
chadnezzar overran Phcenicia and took Sidon by storm ; but only 
became master of Old Tyre after a siege of thirteen years (b.c. 

the PhtEnieian merchants, as early as the banning of the eighth century B.C., is a fact 
dfflerving of more attention than it has received. 

* Isaiah xsiiL ; Ezekiel xxriL, iiviiL 

f See VoL L p. 133. 1^ See VoL L p. 233. 


Thougli tlie insular city still preserved its independence under 
its own kings, its power had received a severe shock. Cyprus, its 
most ancient colony, was taken by Amasis, king of Egypt. But, 
at the accession of Cyrus, Tyre and Sidon stUl appear as com- 
mercial states, conveying the cedars of Lebanon to Joppa, to aid 
in the rebuilding of Jerusalem (b.c. 536).'^ The Phoenician cities 
made a voluntary submission to Cvrus or his son, if that should 
not rather be called an alliance, which permitted them with im- 
punity to refuse Cambyses the services of their navy for his pro- 
jected expedition against Carthage. That navy formed the chief 
maritime strength of the Persian empire. By its aid Cyrus was 
enabled to subdue the Ionian cities, and it served against the 
Greeks in the Persian wars with varying success, till the Phoeni- 
cians were signally defeated by the Athenians off" Salamis in 
Cyprus (b.c. 449). In the wars between the Grecian states, the 
Phoenician fleet was employed in aiding, first the Spartans and 
afterwards the Athenians, according to the varying policy of 
Persia. By their aid Conon secured the ascendancy over Sparta 
which enabled him to build the Long "Walls of Athens, and Phoe- 
nician sailors aided in the work. These services led to a friend- 
ship between Phoenicia and Athens. A decree of the Athenian 
senate made Strato, king of Sidon, a public guest, and immunities 
were granted to Sidonian merchants settling in the city, where 
Phoenician iascriptions have been found of a date about b.c. 380. 
During all this time the Phoenician cities were left under the 
government of their own kings, profiting themselves and enriching 
the empire by their commercial prosperity. In the war with 
Evagoras of Cyprus they suffered severely for their fidelity to 
Persia ; and Tyre is even said to have been taken by the insurgent 
prince. At this period Sidon appears as the chief of the Phoe- 
nician cities. The Persian king had a palace there, though the 
city was governed by its own prince. 

Under the cruel despotism of Artaxerxes Ochus, the oppression 
of the Persian satrap and military commanders at Sidon became 
so intolerable that a congress of the Phoenician cities at Tripolis 
decided on a general revolt (b.c. 352). The royal palace at Sidon 
was sacked, the Persians massacred, the fleet burned to render 
escape impossible, and an alliance formed with Xectanebo II., 
king of Egypt, who sent a garrison of 4000 Greeks to aid in the 
defence. We have already had occasion to relate the disastrous 
issue consequent on the treachery of Tennes, king of Sidon, and 

* Ezra iiL 7. 


of Memnon, the leader of the Greek mercenaries.* Even this 
blow did not destroy the prosperity of Sidon ; but it effectually 
alienated her people from Persia, and they were the first to submit 
to Alexander when he entered Phoenicia after the battle of Issus. 
We have seen how the resistance of Tyre brought down upon her 
the penalty of utter destruction ; f but the Carians, with whom 
Alexander repeopled the city, fell into the habits of the former 
population, and both Tyre and Sidon recovered much of its com- 
mercial greatness. After a long struggle between the kingdoms of 
Egypt and Syria, Phoenicia was finally secured to the latter by Anti- 
ochus the Great (b.c. 198). But the commercial rivalry of Egypt 
proved more serious even than political subjection ; and the founda- 
tion of Berenice on the Red Sea diverted to Alexander much of 
the oriental commerce that had previously flowed through Tyre 
and Sidon. But still they did not succumb to their younger rival. 
Under the Romans, to whom Phoenicia was subjected with Syria, 
Tyre was still the first commercial city of the world. The Arab 
conquest secured for it new prosperity under the gentle govern- 
ment of the Caliphs, till it finally succumbed to the dominion of 
the Turks (a.d. 1516), and to the blow inflicted on the whole 
commerce of the Levant by the discovery of the route to India by 
the Cape of Good Hope. Thus, if we should accept the supposed 
date of the migration of the Phoenicians from the shores of the 
Red Sea, we should have a period of 4000 years for the existence 
of the nation ; and it may be safely afiirmed that their prosperity 
reached back to a point as long before the Christian era as that to 
which it extended after it, making up in all a space of not less 
than 3000 years. 

The causes which chiefly contributed to this long career of com- 
mercial greatness are to be sought partly in the geographical 
position of the people, and partly in their national character. As 
a mixed race — for in this light we have already seen reason to 
regard them — they united the enterprise and inventive genius of 
the Hamite race with the tenacity of pui'pose and love of gain 
which have always distinguished the Semitic. Pent in between a 
coast possessing several tine harbours and the lofty chain of 
Lebanon, whose terraces produce little but the cedar and the date- 
palm, they became of necessity a nation of mariners ; and their 
lot was cast at that very spot of all the ancient world from which 
maritime activity could be most profitably pursued. At the junc- 
tion of the three continents, accessible from the remote east by the 

* See p. 41, f See pp. 58—60. 


easy route wliicli crosses the northern part of the Sji'ian Desert, 
and from the Red Sea and Egypt through Palestine and along 
the coast, looking out westward over the Mediterranean, and con- 
nected with the shores of Asia Minor and Greece by the stepping- 
stones, so to speak, of Cyprus, Crete, and the islands of the 
^gsean, Phoenicia may well be called the commercial focus of the 
ancient world. To the south and east lay the highly civilized and 
productive regions where 

" Egypt with Assyria strove In wealth and luxury," 

backed by all the wealth of India and Arabia; to the west, the 
extensive coast-line of Europe and Africa, here peopled with races 
whose native energy only needed the touch of commerce to adorn 
their freedom with the graces of civiHzation, and there offering 
virgin tracts of unsurpassed fertility to the enterprise of the colo- 
nist. And every new step in prosperity added the impulse of 
necessity to a people whose numbers must soon have outgrown 
their narrow territory. 

Accordingly, from a very early age, we find the Phoenicians 
acting as carriers of the produce of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon. 
Homer tells us of their traffic in the metal trinkets and woven 
fabrics which were produced abundantly in those countries, as 
well as in slaves. "We have seen how they joined Solomon in 
distant voyages of as much as three years' duration, which pro- 
duced " gold and silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks." * The plain 
interpretation of the much disputed text is that these objects 
were brought home by the navy that sailed periodically to Tarshish, 
that is, the south of Spain, and which would visit the African 
coast, wlience the ivory, apes, and peacocks could be obtained. 
The eastern voyage to the shores of Africa and Arabia beyond 
the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, which produced the gold of Ophir, 
was performed by Phoenician mariners on board the ships of 
Solomon ; f and it was probably by a similar combination that 
much of the traffic of the oriental monarchies in the Indian 
Ocean was carried on. In that vivid picture, wliicli Ezekiel draws 
of the T}-rian trade in the age of Kebuchadnezzar, we read of frank- 
incense and spices from the eastern coast of Africa, and of cotton 
fabrics and " bright iron," or steel, which came doubtless from India. 
Most of their Indian traffic passed probably through the great em- 
porium of Babylon, which also furnished embroidered " Baby- 
lonish garments " and other manufactures. From Egypt they 

* 2 Chron. ix. 21. f 1 Kmgs ix. 27 ; 2 Chron. viu. 18. 


obtained its staple manufacture of linen, as well as their chief 
supplies of com. Palestine too provided them with com, wine, 
oil, honey, and balsams ; Damascus with white wool and wine ; 
and the pastures of the Arabian Desert with sheep and goats. 
From the higlilands of Armenia they obtained horses and mules ; 
and the natives of Georgia and Circassia were doomed then, as in. 
later times, by the fatal gift of beauty, to feed their slave trade. 
It is to be observed that Ezekiel speaks of the nations as bringing 
their goods to the Phoenicians. The caravan trade was conducted 
by the nomad tribes of Syria and Arabia, such as those to whom 
Joseph was sold ; but the Phoenicians had also factories and mar- 
kets in various cities, as at Alexandria and Jerusalem. 

Their own commercial energy, however, was chiefly engaged in 
distributing over the shores of the Mediterranean the wealth 
which they collected from the east, and thus they were the chief 
agents in the commercial civilization of the western world. As a 
matter of course, one of the many traditions respecting the origin 
of navio^ation ascribes its invention to the Phoenicians. With 
greater probability they are said to have been the first who steered 
their ships by observations of the stars, and they were thus able 
to venture into the open sea on distant voyages, while other mari- 
ners crept along the shores. They employed the jpentecorder, or 
swift low vessel of fifty oars, suited both for trade or pirady, the 
larger trireme^ or galley of three banks of oars, and the round 
ship for stowage, which took its significant name from a milk- 
pail {gaulos). The first was their usual craft in the earKest 
times ; and the voyages which they performed in such vessels 
excite an astonishment like that we feel when reading of the mere 
smacks in which our OAvn early navigators ventured into the Polar 
Seas. It was no slight advantage to the Phoenicians that they 
had to deal with the calmer waters and clear skies of the Medi- 
terranean ; but they also ventured out into the Atlantic, skirting 
the African coast as far as Senegal and the Canaries (the Fortu- 
nate Islands of the ancients) and at a later age venturing to the 
southwefttem shores of Britain, the Cassiterides, or tin-islands. 
The tin procured at first from Spain, and afterwards from Britain, 
supplied the demand of the nations on the Mediterranean shores 
for one ingredient of the bronze, of which their arms, their orna- 
ments, and most other objects of metal-work were composed. 
The silver mines of Andalusia provided the Phoenicians with such 
quantities of the precious metal, that they are said to have used 
masses of it for anchors. Their active commerce with Greece 


forms one of tlie earliest known facts in tlie history of that 
country ; and whatever may be the truth concealed beneath the 
legends respecting Phoenician settlements on its shores, its 
alphabet bears witness, to the present day, that it derived the 
rudiments of letters from the Phoenicians. 

Besides the products of other coimtries, the Phoenicians traded 
in some great manufactures of their own, especially the Sidonian 
embroideries, such as Homer mentions as carried to Troy by 
Paris, the glass for which Sidon was also famous, and the cele- 
brated Tyrian pm'ple. In the manufacture of their glass, the 
Sidonians used the fine sand of the beach beneath Mount Carmel ; 
and an old tradition ascribes the invention of glass to an accident 
on this very spot. Some mariners, in kindling a fire upon the 
shore, propped up their cauldron with lumps of the natron 
(native carbonate of soda) which fonned their cargo, from the 
fusion of which with the sand a stream of molten glass ran out ! 
But in fact the monuments of the Egyptians prove their possess- 
ion of the art as early as the fourth dynasty, a time not very 
difierent from that of the alleged migration of the Phoenicians 
from the Ped Sea ; and the abundance both of sand and natron 
confirms the probability of its invention in Egypt.* The Sido- 
nians used the blowpipe, the graver, and the lathe; they cast 
glass mirrors ; and they seem to have made imitations of precious 
stones in coloured glass. The still more famous Tyi'ian purple 
was obtained from the juice of marine molluscs of the genera 
duccinum and murex, of which the former was found on the rocks 
along the coast, and the latter had to be dredged in deep water. 
Each animal yields only a small drop of the precious fluid, from a 
canal which follows the spiral convolutions of the shell. When 
first extracted, by means of a sharp point, it is of cream colour, 
and has the smell of garlic. Exposm-e to the light changes it 
successively to green, blue, red, and deep purple ; and a fabric 
steeped in it, and then washed with soap, assumes a permanent 
dye of bright crimson. The molluscs that produce the dye are 
almost peculiar to the coast of Phoenicia, and the Tyrians seem 
to have possessed some chemical secrets of the manufacture. 
Under the Romans they held the sole privilege of making the 
imperial purple, down to the taking of Constantinople by the 

While the voyages by which this vast commerce was conducted 
would tempt the more adventurous to form permanent settlements 

* See Vol. I., p. 86. 
VOL. II. — 23 


on the shores they visited, the prosperity derived from it would cause 
a growth of population far too great for such a region as Phoenicia, 
and so make colonization a necessity. It has been suggested that 
the conquest of Palestine by Joshua must have driven back whole 
nations of the Canaanites upon their kinsmen in Phoenicia and 
Ccele-Syria, causing an emigration like that of the lonians when 
thrust out by the Dorians from Peloponnesus into Attica. In the 
story of Joshua's victories over the northern Canaanites, we read 
repeatedly of their defeated hosts being chased into these very- 
regions ; and the traditional date of the commencement of Phoe- 
nician colonization has a near approximation to that of the Jewish 
conquest. A similar impulse is supposed to have been given by 
the victories of David at the very period when the prosperity of 
Tyre, under the father of Hiram, gave it the means of successful 
colonization. That the dissensions and revolutions which followed 
the reign of Hiram tended to the same result, is strikingly proved 
by the story of the foundation of Carthage. 

But, from whatever cause a colony might be sent forth, its 
foundation was conducted with the same regard to political and 
religious organization as among the Greeks ; and, like theirs, the 
Phoenician colonies were models of the parent state. Thus, for 
example, the religion and polity of Carthage faithfully represent 
those of the mother city. Tyre. The fragments of native history 
furnish no distinct accounts of the progress of the Phoenicians in 
colonization ; but we are not without traditions and landmarks, 
by which to trace their advance round the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean. Cyprus, lying within sight of the Phoenician coast, would 
naturally be first occupied. Their presence here is attested by 
numerous inscriptions, and their settlement of Citium preserved 
the name by which the island is designated in Scripture, Chittim. 
Its foundation was ascribed by a legend to a Sidonian king, Belus, 
whose name, and the Baal-worship from which it is derived, are 
indications of the ancient connection of the Phoenicians with the 
nations on the Euphrates. The corresponding female deity, 
Ashtoreth, or Astarte, who was worshipped especially at Sidon, 
had her celebrated fane at Paphos, 

" And thence her lustful or^es she enlarged " 

to the shores of Greece and Italy, under the name of Aphrodite 
Urania, or the Heavenly Yenus. The legends of lo, of the rape of 
Europa, and of Dido, seem to have been connected with the diffu- 
sion of her worship. 


The passage from Cyprus to Asia Minor is as easy as that from 
Phoenicia to Cyprus, and the presence of Phoenician settlers along 
the shores of Cilicia, Lycia, and Caria, in Rhodes and Crete 
and the islands of the JEgean, and on the peninsula of Greece, 
may be traced by legends of unknown antiquity, and in many 
cases by more substantial memorials. Their track may be fol- 
lowed by similar evidence into the Euxine, as far as the shores 
of Bithynia. At the gold mines of Thasos, Herodotus was shown 
the traces of immense works ascribed to the Phoenicians, who 
seemed, as he expresses it, to have tm*ned a mountain upside 
down ; and they are said to have worked the gold mines on the 
opposite shore of Thrace. From Euboea they crossed over to 
make that settlement in Boeotia, the memory of which seems to 
be preserved in the legend of Cadmus. The rocky shores of 
Attica and the Peloponnesus presented few temptations to per- 
manent settlements; but the Phoenicians frequented them as 
traders and as pirates ; and the legend of lo, for example, indi- 
cates their presence at Argos in both characters. At the southern 
extremity of the peninsula, Cythera afforded a resting-place 
between Phoenicia and the West : and the worship of Aphrodite, 
for which this island was as celebrated as Cyprus, is traced by 
Herodotus to the Phoenicians.* On the west side of Greece, the 
Paphian inhabitants of Cepallenia claimed descent from the Phoe- 
nician Cadmus. 

The next step of their westward progress earned the Phoenicians 
to Sicily, a migration which seems to be indicated by the fable of 
the flight of Dgedalus from Crete ; and by the worship of Yenus 
at Eryx and Egesta. Thucydides expressly states that they took 
possession of the promontories and small islands on the coast for 
the purpose of trading, and that they were driven by the Greek 
colonists from all these positions except Panormus {Palermo) 
and some others at the western extremity of the island, which 
they were enabled to hold through their proximity to Carthage. 
For even the latest date assigned for the foundation of Carthage 
is before the earliest of the Hellenic settlements in Sicily. These 
accounts, which are in every way probable, point to the estab- 
lishment of mere factories and not colonies, except at the western 

* Another legend ascribes it to JEneas, whose fabled birth from Venus and connec- 
tion with Dido may perhaps indicate the influence of a Phoenician element amon" the 
Trojans. The god Melicertes, who was worshipped with infant sacrifices at Tenedos, is 
unquestionably the Tyrian Melcarth. In the same way the settlement of Eryx and 
Egesta in Sicily is ascribed to the Trojans under ^neas. — Thuc. vi. 2. 


extremity of the island There are distinct traces of Phoenician 1 
settlements in Melita and Ganlns (Malta and Goz^) and Cossjra ' 
(Pani-eHariaX which lie like stepping-stones between Sicily and 
Africa, as well as in Sardinia and Ebnsus (Ivizu). By such 
stages the Phoenician mariners were conducted to the shores of 
Spain, if indeed they did not reach them at an earlier period by 
a more direct route ; for Tarshish is mentioned in the earliest list 
of the nations in the tenth chapter of the Book of Genesis. In 
the most flourishing period of Phoenician commerce, the voyages 
to these distant regions employed a peculiar class of vessels, " the j 

ships of Tarshish," which doubtless became like our '* Eastindia- 
mai" a generic name for the largest ships of their commercial 

Known to the Greeks only by Phoenician reports, this region, 
raider the names of Tart^sns, was connected by them with very 
vague ideas. Sometimes it seems to denote all Spain ; sometimes 
a part or the whole of Andalusia ; sometimes the region near the 
month of the Baetis {Guadalquiver\ which was itself called by the 
same name, and in the Delta of which some writers place a city 
Tartessus.* In shorty both the Tarshish of the Hebrews, and the 
Tartessns of the Greeks, may be taken to include all they knew of 
Spain, and perhaps of the western regions within and without the 
Straits-t At all events, there were Phoenician settlements along 
the coast of Andalusia, some of which — as Malaca {Malaga) and 
Carteia — can be distinguished from the latter Carthaginian colo- 
nies; and these were their great emporia for the silver, iron, tin, 
and lead, which they obtained from the mines of the interior. 
The working of those mines must have brought them into close 
contact with the natives beyond the coast, whose superior civil- 
ization was evident down to later ages. These settlements 
led them on to those straits, at which the fabled columns set 
up by Hercules (Calpe, Gibraltar, on the European shore, and 
Abila, Ape^ HUl, on the African) marked the limits of geogra- 
phical knowledge and enterprise to the early Greeks. But centu- 
ries before the time when the Greek poets were still repeating 
their fable of the earth-encircling river Ocean, which the mariner 
entered as soon as he left the Mediterranean, the Phoenicians had 

* Professor K^ has soggested an ingHiiotis eirmological connectioii between Tar- 
tatn, Cariaa at Carpe at Oalpe {Gibraltar), and the CarpOani, a people found in the 
ceDtte of die p g ni i wa ila^ havii^ pn^nbly been diiren from the neigfabonrbood of tbdi 
old ofatal (C^pe) brim^liaDB aeroaB die stnita. 

f De. Ihcns orges sonie n^gemooB aigomenlB tat die identzScatum of Tardusii ^th 


not only sailed beyond tlie Straits, but bad founded the great 
colony of Gades, wbich retains its ancient name to the present day.* 
Besides the tradition abeadj mentioned as placing the foundation 
of Cadiz before that of Utica, and consequently about 1100 b.c, 
its antiquity is attested by its preseryation of the oldest form of 
the worship of the Tyrian Hercules (^lelcarth). H-is temple was 
without an image, the only symbol of the god being a perpetual 
fire. The fact, that the Phoenician colonies were rather com- 
mercial factories than centres of political power, is indicated by 
the deahngs of the Phoc^eans with Aro-anthonius, king of Tar- 
tessus, in the reign of Cyrus the Great.f 

Gades was a station from which mariners so enterprising as the 
Phoenicians would explore the adjacent coasts both to the north 
and south ; and stories are related of their trading as far as the 
shores of the Baltic, and bringing home its amber. There can 
be little doubt that they worked the tin and lead mines of Corn- 
wall and the Scilly Islands, and it was fi-om them that Herodotus 
deriyed his knowledge of these "Tin Islands" {Cassette rides). 
Aristotle's information about the British Islands in general — 
which he names respectiyely Alb-ion^ iir Celtic the White Island, 
and ler-ne, that is, Eri- or Ire-land — may haye come by the 
oyerland route across Gaul to Massalia, or by way of Carthage. 
"We haye no distinct evidence that the Phoenicians had dealmgs 
with any but the western extremity of Great Britain, the only 
part that produced the commodities they valued. The traces 
of Phoenician influence in Ireland, for which some writers have 
strenuously contended, are at best very doubtful. Besides the 
British Isles, the Phoenician navigators from Tartessus traded to 
others in the Atlantic, called the (EstryTiinides^ which are prob- 
ably the Azo7'es, though the difierent groups of islands were 
doubtless often confounded. To the south of the Straits, the 
northwestern coast of Africa was occupied at several points by 
their settlements. 

A passing notice must suffice for the very interesting ques- 
tion, whether the Phoenician mariners ventured out into the wide 
Atlantic, and whether among those who may have been wafted to 
the opposite shores by accident or bold adventure, any returned 
to tell of the existence of America. There are some curious 

* The genuine form of the name, as found on coins of the old Phoenician period, is 
Agadir {"in), or, with the definite article, Hagadlr {"".yr), signifying a strong enclo-rure 
or edifice. The omission of the initial breathing gave Gadir or Gaddir, the Phoenician 
form, according to the classical writers ; whence came the Greek Gadira and the Latin 
Gades. f See Vol I., p. 276 


statements bearing on tliis point; but their interpretation is 
a matter of mere conjecture. Avienus, a Latin poet of the 
fourth century of our era, in Lis work on the shores of the Medi- 
terranean, compiled from Phoenician authorities, quotes from 
the Carthaginian Himilco, who had made a voyage of nearly 
four months westward, the assertion that the Atlantic could be 
crossed. From what follows, it seems that Himilco had sailed 
as far as what the ancients called the " Sargasso Sea," from 
the shoals of sargassus or floating sea-weed, which abound off 
the Azores; and it is not even suggested that he had reached 
the opposite shore. Other stories might be cited ; but the most 
remarkable of all is the legend related by Plato about Atlantis^ 
an island larger than Asia and Libya together, in the sea west of 
Gades and the Straits. A powerful dynasty of kings reigned over 
this and the smaller islands between it and the continent, and con- 
quered Libya up to Egypt, and Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. They 
had gathered their forces for the subjugation of the remaining 
countries round the Mediterranean, when the Athenians, though 
deserted by all their allies, repulsed them in a decisive battle, and 
restored the freedom of all the countries within the Straits. The 
victory was followed by great earthquakes and floods, which 
swallowed up the combatants on both sides ; and the island of 
Atlantis engulfed beneath the waters, left only shoals of mud 
which rendered that sea unnavigable. All this happened 9000 
years before the time of Solon, to whom it was related by the 
Egyptian priests of Sais, as an instance of the ignorance of the 
Athenians respecting their forefathers' exploits. It is super- 
fluous to observe that such a legend, coming from such a source, 
can have no historical value. But may its existence be taken 
as any argument, when confirmed by other evidence, for the 
knowledge of lands beyond the Atlantic ? The safest reply is a 
candid confession of our ignorance. Who shall venture to draw 
the Kne between truth and fiction in the travellers' tales of those 
remote ages ? Even after making the most liberal allowance for 
their good faith, all that is credible in their statements may be 
accounted for on the supposition that, after long beating about 
in the storms of the Atlantic, they reached some of the nearer 
islands, or some unknown parts of the shores of Europe or Africa, 
which they mistook for lands beyond the Ocean. The utmost that 
can be afiirmed is the possibility of the discovery.* 

* A fuller discussion of the question will be found in the articles " Atlantis " and 
-" Atlanticum Mare " in the Dictionary of Greek awl Roman Geography. 



Returning through the Straits, we come to those famous settle- 
ments of the Phoenicians on the northern coast of Africa, which 

Map of Zeugitana. 

1. Tnsca Fl. : Wa-d Zain; boundary to- 
wards Nnmidia. 

2. Candidam Pr. C Blanco. 

3. Hippo Diarrhytus or Zaritus : Bizerta. 

4. Bas Sidi Bou Shusha, or C. Ziheeb : Pr. 

5. Apollinis Pr. : Baa Sidi Ali-al-Mekhi, or 
C Farina. 

6. Bagradas FI. ; Wady ifejerdah : Bhowing, 
at and near its mouth, its present course. 

7. Ancient course of the river near its mouth 
(the dotted line). 

8. Utica : Bou-shater. 

9. Castra Cornelia : Ghellah. 

10. Ancient coast-lino (the dotted line). 

11. Present coast-line. 

12. B(is Ghamart, or C. Catnart. 

13. Ba« Sidi Bomaid, or C. Carthage. 

14. Site of Carthage, and ruins of the Roman 

15. Tunes; Tunis. 

16. Lagoon or Bay of Thinis. 

17. The GoJetta. ' 

18. Aqueduct of Carthage. 

19. Jebel Zaghioan : one source of the aque- 

20. Maxula: Bhades. 

21. AquiB Calidae : Hammam TEnf. 

22. Carpis : Gurbos. 

23. uEgimurus I. : Zoicamour, or Zenibra. 

24. Aquilaria : Alhotcareah, quarries. 

25. Mercurii Pr. : Bn3 Addar, or (J. Bon. 

26. Clypea, or Aspis : Aklibiah, 

27. Curnbis : Kurbah. 

28. Neapolis: Nabal. 

29. Horrae Caelia : fferklah. 

30. Hadrnraetum : Sousah. 

31. Sinus Carthaginiensis. 

32. Sinus Neapolitanus.* 

city : the oval line marks the site of £i Jfersa. 

* Besides exhibiting the colonics now spoken of and the whole neighbourhood of 
Carthage, this map will serve to illustrate the Koman campaigns in Africa, and those of 
Agathocles, which have been related towards the end of Chapter AVULl, 

360 THE FIEST PrTSIC W^\J>. [Chap. XXIV. 

we have reserved till the last on accomit of their connection with 
Carthage. They extended all along the shores of Barbarr, from 
the Straits to the Greater Syrtis ; but they were naturally the most 
numerous in that part which has formed successively the territory 
of Carthage, the Eoman province of Africa, and the Eegency of 
Tunis. Stretching out from the line of the coast towards Sicily, 
and with its eastern front looking in the direction of Phoenicia, 
this region invited colonization by its splendid harbours and un- 
surpassed fertility ; and we can scarcely doubt that Tyre drew sup- 
plies of com from its abundance ; though not to the same extent 
as the Carthaginians and Eomans, who afterwards had more com- 
plete possession of the country. The most favourable district 
for colonization was the great bay between Cape Farina and Cape 
Bon (the ancient promontories of Apollo and Mercury), the 
shores of which, abounding in natural harbours, are adjacent to 
the fertile plains watered by the Bagradas and some smaller 
rivers. — forming the ancient Zeugitana, or the northern division 
of Africa^ in the original sense of the word, which corresponds 
nearly to the modem Eegency of Tunis. ZSTearly all the cities on 
this coast were colonies of Tyre. The most ancient was Utica 
(or Itace). near the mouth of the western arm of the Bagradas 
and close under the promontory of Apollo.* iSText ia importance 
was Tunes {Turds\ at the bottom of the lagoon at the mouth of 
which Carthage stood. It is needless to enumerate the other 
settlements, some of which are exhibited on the annexed map, 
while others lay to the west along the coast of ^umidia, as far 
as the Straits, and to the east round the shores of the Lesser 
Svrtis ; but we must not omit to name Hippo Zaritus {Bisei'ta), 
celebrated in the annals of chivalry, and Hippo Eegius {Bona?i\ 
less famous as the residence of the Xumidian kings than as the 
bishopric of St. Augustine. On the coast between the two 
Syrtes, Leptis Magna (Lebdah) was an emporium for the caravan 
trade across the desert. The eastern limit of the Phoenician 
settlements is not accurately known. How the boundary was 
afterwards fixed between the Carthaginians and the Greeks of 
Cyrene at the bottom of the Great Syrtis, has been previously 
related, t Before proceeding to speak of Carthage, the last and 
greatest finit of Phoenician colonization, it is important to inquii*e 

* Its mins are seea near the holy tomb of BourthaUr. It may be mentioned here 
<Hice for aD, that the pti sting surface ruins of aH these African cities, including those of 
CJarthage itself^ are chiefly of the Boman period. The remains of the Phoenician cities 
hare to be soo^t imdergronnd. f See YoL L, p. 366. 


what lasting crain the nation derived from this vast system of com- 
merce and colonization, and what was her influence upon human 
civilization ? 

This question cannot be better answered than in the words of 
Dr. Mommsen: — '"'The Phcenicians are entitled to be commemo- 
rated in history by the side of the Hellenic and Latin nations ; 
but their case affords a fresh proof, and perhaps the strongest 
proof of all, that the development of national energies in anti- 
quity was of a one-sided character. Those noble and enduring 
creations in the field of intellect, which owe their origin to the 
Ai-amsean race, did not emanate from the Phcenicians. While 
faith and knowledge, in a certain sense, were the especial property 
of the Ai'amiean nations, and reached the Indo-Germans only 
from the East, neither the Phoenician religion nor Phcenician 
science and art ever, so far as we can see, held an independent 
rank among those of the Aramsean family. The religious con- 
ceptions of the Phoenicians were rude and uncouth, and it seemed 
as if their worship was meant to foster lust and cruelty rather 
than to subdue them. JSTo trace is discernible, at least in times of 
clear historical light, of any special influence exercised by their 
religion over other nations. As little do we find any Phoenician 
architecture or plastic art at all comparable even to those of Italy, 
to say nothing of the lands where art was native. The most 
ancient seat of scientific observation and of its application to 
practical purposes was Babylon, or at any rate the region of the 
Euphrates. * * * The Phcenicians no doubt availed themselves of 
the artistic and highly developed manufactures of Babylon for 
their industry, of the observation of the stars for their navigation, 
of the writing of sounds and the adjustment of measures for 
their commerce, and distributed many an important germ of civil- 
ization along with their wares ; but it cannot be demonstrated 
that the alphabet, or any other ingenious product of the human 
mind, belonged peculiarly to them, and such religious and scien- 
tific ideas as they were the means of conveying to the Hellenes, 
were scattered by them more after the fashion of a bird dropping 
grains than of the husbandman sowing his seed. The power 
which the Hellenes and the Italians possessed, of civilizing and 
assimilating to themselves the nations susceptible of culture with 
whom they came into contact, was wholly wanting in the Phoe- 
nicians. In the field of Poman conquest, the Iberian and the 
Celtic languages have disappeared before the Eomanic tongue ; 
the Berbers of Africa speak at this present day the same language 


as they spoke in the times of the Hannos and the Barcides. Above 
all, the Phoenicians, like the rest of the Aramaean nations aa com- 
pared -^ith the Indo-Germans, lacked the instinct of political 
life, — the noble idea of self-governed freedom. During tlie most 
flourishing times of Sidon and Tyre, the land of the Phoenicians 
was a perpetual apple of contention between the powers that ruled 
on the Euphrates and on the Xile, and was subject sometimes to 
the Assyrians, sometimes to the Egyptians. With half the power, 
Hellenic cities had achieved their independence ; but the prudent 
Sidonians calculated that the closing of the caravan routes to the 
east, or of the ports of Egypt, would affect them more than the 
heaviest tribute ; and so they punctually paid their taxes, as it 
might happen, to Xineveh or to Memphis, and even gave their 
ships, when they could not avoid it, to help to fight the battles of 
the kings. And as at home the Phoenicians patiently submitted 
to the oppression of their masters, so also abroad they were by no 
means inclined to change the peaceful career of commerce for a 
poKcy of conquest. Their colonies were factories. It was of more 
moment, in their \dew, to traffic in buying and selling with the 
natives, than to acquire extensive territories in distant lands, and 
to carry out the slow and difficult work of colonization. They 
avoided war, even with their rivals; they allowed themselves to 
be supplanted in Egypt, Greece, Italy, and the east of Sicily, 
almost without resistance, and in the great naval battles, which 
were fought in early times for the supremacy of the western 
Mediterranean at Alalia and at Cumae, it was the Etruscans and 
not the Phcenicians that bore the brunt of the struggle with the 
Greeks.* If rivaby could not be avoided, they compromised the 
matter as best they could ; no attempt was ever made by the 
Phoenicians to conquer Caere or Massilia. Still less, of course, 
were the Phoenicians disposed to enter on aggressive war. On 
the only occasion, in earlier times, when they took the field on 
the offensive, namely, in the great Sicilian expedition of the 
Afi'ican Phoenicians, which tenninated in their defeat at Himera 
by Gelo of Syracuse, f it was simply as dutifid subjects of the 
Great King, and in order to avoid taking part in the campaign 
ao-ainst the Hellenes of the east, that they entered the lists 
against the Hellenes of the west ; just as their Syrian kinsmen 
were, in fact, obliged in that same year to share the defeat of the 
Persians at Salamis. This was not the result of cowardice ; navi- 

* B.C. 538 — iU. See YoL I., p. 276, and Vol. U., p. 143. 
f B.C. 480. See Vol I. p. 433 


gation in unknown waters and with armed vessels requires brave 
hearts ; and that such were to be found among the Phoenicians, 
thej often showed. Still less was it the result of any lack of 
tenacity and idiosyncrasy of national feeling ; on the contrary, the 
Aramaeans defended their nationality with spiritual weapons and 
with their blood against all the allm-ements of Grecian civiliza- 
tion and all the coercive measures of eastern and western despots, 
and that with an obstinacy which no Indo-German people have 
ever equalled, and which to us, who belong to the west, seems to 
be sometimes more, sometimes less than human. It was the 
result of that want of political instinct which, amidst all their 
lively sense of the ties of race, and amidst all their faithful attach- 
ment to the city of their fathers, formed so marked a featm*e in 
the character of the Phoenicians. Liberty had no charms for 
them, and they aspired not after dominion ; ' quietly they lived,' 
says the Book of Judges, ' after the manner of the Sidonians, 
careless and secure in the possession of riches.' " * 

It was the destiny of Cabthage to form a conspicuous excep- 
tion to this peaceful and submissive policy ; and the reason of the 
difference may be expressed in a few words, which form the key 
to her whole history. As the head of the Phoenician colonies in the 
West, she was compelled to assume a warlike attitude, in order to 
prevent her commerce and theirs being driven from the seas. The 
compromise made with the despotisms of the East would not 
satisfy tlie Greek republics of Sicily and Massalia, or the rising 
power of Rome. Founded by a fresh colony, when Tyre had 
reached the height of her prosperity, the " JS^ew CriY "f occupied 
a position the most favourable for supremacy in the western half 
of the Mediterranean. Placed at that central point of the African 

* Mommsen, History of Rome, vol. ii., pp. 4 — 6. The leading authorities for the 
history of the Phcenicians are Gesenius, Motiumenta Phoenicia ; Heeren's Researches, &c. ; 
Movers, Die Pfionizier ; Kenrick's Fhcenicia ; and Mr. Dyer's article Phoenicia in Dr. 
Smith's I>idionary of Greek and Roman Geography. 

\ Solinus tells us that the ancient name of Carthage was Carthada ; " quod Phceni- 
cum ore exprimit Civitatem Kovam." In Hebrew there is a poetical word Kerdh or Carth 
signifying a City ; and the coins of Panormus, a chief possession of Carthage in Sicily, 
bear the legend of Kereth-hadeshoth, or Carth-hadtha (i. e., the Neio City), the Carthada 
of Solinus. By chan^g the first and second dentals respectively into gutturals, the 
Greeks obtained Carchadon (Kapxr/duv) and the Romans Carthago. As in all similar 
eases, the '■'■ New City" points to an Old City on or near the same spot. This is common- 
ly explained as referring to Utica, which means Old City ; but Niebuhr thinks it unlikely 
that such a site as that of Carthage should have been left unoccupied for nearly 300 
years, and he supposes the Old City io have been on the same spot, and to be represented 
by Byrsa, the citadel of Carthage. 


coast, where the projecting shore approaches so near the western 
extremity of Sicily as to divide the great inland sea into two basins, 
and within a moderate distance of Sardinia, she looked almost due 
north to the mouth of the Tiber. '-^ 

The site of Carthage has long been known by tradition and by 
its existing ruins ; but it is only lately that its exact topography 
has ceased to be one of the most vexed questions of ancient learn- 
ing. Far within the deep bay terminated by the headlands of 
Mercury and Apollo {C. Bon and C. Farina), and on its western 
side, is a rocky promontory or peninsula, connected with the level 
plain of the Mejerdah by an isthmus, the breadth of which is 
chiefly due to the encroachments of the land. Along the whole 
space from C. Farina to the peninsula, the alluvial deposits of the 
Mejerdah, aided by the north-west winds, which incessantly throw 
floods of sand upon the shore, have converted what was once a 
bold sweeping bay into a succession of salt-marshes and dry land, 
which have filled up the roadstead once formed on the northern 
side of the peninsula, though its memorial still exists in the village 
oi El-Mersa (the harhour), adorned with the country-houses of the 
Tunisians. On the southern side of the peninsula, what was once 
a splendid basin, forming the port of Tunis, has been converted by 
similar causes into a lagoon of only six or seven feet deep, con- 
nected with the sea by a narrow entrance called in Arabic Halk- 
el^Wad (the throat of the river), and in Italian Goletta (the 
Gullet). Along the northern margin of this basin runs a line of 
land, which once formed a narrow isthmus, gradually rising till the 
rocks culminate in Has Sidi Bousaid, or C. Carthage, a headland 
nearly 400 feet high, forming the eastern point of the peninsula. 
Between this and the somewhat lower headland oiBas Ghamart, or 
C. CamaM, the eastern face of the peninsula opposes its breastwork 
of rocks to the full force of the storms that break into the gulf. 
On the lower eminences sheltered by these heights, and along the 
shores between C. Carthage and the lagoon of Tunis, stood the 
famous city ; and on this side the water sweeping round C. Car- 
thage has so encroached upon the land as to cover large portions 
of the ruins of the ancient quays. 

The fabled visit of -£neas to these shores, at the very time when 
Dido was building the new city, has afforded Virgil the opportunity 
for a description, as faithful as it is poetic, of the aspect which 

* The distance from C. Bon to Marsala, the ancient Lilybffium, is less than 90 miles ; 
from Carthage to Lilybasum is about 150 ; and the same to CaxaMs {Caglian) in Sardinia 
from Carthage to the mouth of the Tiber is under 400 miles. 


tlie spot may be supposed to have presented to a voyager landing 
on tlie northern side of tlie peninsula. It is passing strange that 
the most learned of poets should have been suspected of draw- 
ing a purely imaginary picture of a spot so well known to the 
Romans of his age ; and stranger still that not only commentators, 
but such a traveller as Dr. Shaw, should have supposed the landing- 
place of ^neas to have been at Alhowareah (the ancient Aquilaria), 
close to Ca-pe Bon, a distance of sixty miles from Carthage, and 
resembling none of the features of Yirgil's description.* 

That description of an imaginary approach to the peninsula of 
Carthage gives an admirable idea of its actual appearance about 
the time supposed. Driven out of his course from Sicily to Italy 
by a stonn, which the jealousy of Juno prevails on ^olus to raise, 
JEneas at length makes the shore of Libya, with the remnant of 
his scattered ships, at a point described in the following terms : — 

" Within a long recess there hes a bay : 
An island shades it from the rolling sea, 
And forms a port secure for ships to ride : 
Broke by the jutting land, on either side, 
In double streams the briny waters glide 
Betwixt two rows of rocks : a sylvan scene 
Appears above, and groves forever green : 
A grot is formed beneath, with mossy seats, 
To rest the Nereids, and exclude the heats. 
Down through the crannies of the Uving walls, 
The crystal streams descend in murm'ring falls. 
No halsers need to bind the vessels here, 
Nor bearded anchors ; for no storms they fear. 
Seven ships within this happy harbour meet, 
The thin remainders of the scatter'd fleet. 
The Trojans, worn with toils, and spent with woes, 
Leap on the welcome land, and seek their wish'd repose." f 

Commentators, with only books and maps to guide them, may 
be more easily excused than travellers to the spot, for seeking the 

* The choice of Alhowareah involves, as Dr. Davis has pointed out, the inference, 
that Achates performed the journey of sixty miles on foot three times in the course of a 
single day — an example of " fideUty " to his chief's behests not to be matched by a High- 
land gillie. 

f jEneis, I. Vv. 159 — 169. The passage is given in Dryden's classical translation, 
for the EngUsh reader ; but to follow the description with minute accuracy, it is neces- 
sary to subjoin the original : — 

" Est in secessu longo locus : insula portum 
Efficit objectu laterum ; quibus omnis ab alto 
Trangitur, inque sinus scindit sese unda reductos. 
Hinc atque hinc vastae rupes, geminique minantur 
In coelum scopuli ; quorum sub vcrtice lat^ 
.^ilquora tuta silent : turn silvis scena coruscis 
Desuper, horrentique atrum nemus imminet vmibra. 


" island " of Yirgil in the little rocky " Altars of ^gimunis " 
(the Islmuls of Zowamour), in the very mouth of the great 
Gulf, which lay remote from Carthage, and so far from making 
a safe harbour, shipwrecked some of the vessels during the 
storm. Nor have they perceived that ^neas was embayed 
within the gulf when he made the land. The natural expla- 
nation, which makes all else clear, is that the "island" was the 
peninsula of Carthage itself, and that " the port made by it " lay 
on the northern side of the isthmus, which then formed a deep bay, 
where is now the salt lake of Sokra and the suburb of El-Mersa.^ 
Here ^neas would be sheltered by C. Camart from the E.S.E. 
wind that had driven him to the shore ; and here, even since the 
alteration of the coast, the description of the poet is borne out by 
the present aspect of the land. " On nearing the coast from a 
direction west of C Camart, the land, or rather the isthmus, is very 
low, and covered with lakes, which are so swelled in extent by 
heavy gales, that the jpeninsula of Carthage has every apjyearance 

of a sea-girt island Again, on approaching the coast in 

the same direction, the lofty double-peaked mountain of Hammam 
I'Enf — to this day called by the Arabs 'the possessor of two 
horns ' — seems to tower above the vast rocks which flank the little 

Fronte sub adverse scopulis pendentibus antrum ; 

Intus aquae dulces, vivoque sedilia saxo ; 

N3mipharum domus : hie fessas non vincula naves 

Ulla tenent; unco non alligat aneora morsu." 
In the interpretation of this passage, and in the whole account of Carthage, a 
epecial acknowledgment is due of the information derived from the work of Dr. N. 
Davis, " CaHhage and her Remains^ being an account of the Excavations and 
Researches on the site of the Phoenician Metropolis in Africa, and other adjacent 
places, conducted under the auspices of Her Majesty's Government." London, 1861. 

Dr. Davis has since published a supplementary volume, entitled " The Ruined Cities 
within the Numidian and Carthaginian Territories." Lond. 1862, 8vo. The British Mu- 
seum is enriched with many of the fruits of his discoveries. The praise due to Dr. Davis 
for his researches must not prevent the greatest caution in following his opinions and in- 
terpretations. His zeal has given him a constant predisposition to find Punic remains, 
where calmer critics consider him to have discovered none but Roman. Less doubtful 
traces of Punic Carthage have been reached by M. Beule, whose discoveries are de- 
scribed in his Fouilles ds Carthage, 1861. 4to. For the existing topographical details 
of the site the best authority is the Danish officer Falbe, Recherches sur V Emplacement de 
Carthage. Paris 1833. 

* This opmion was formed long before the publication of Dr. Davis, who may be 
said to have proved it to demonstration. We have still some hesitation in acceptmg 
his explanation of the " gemini scopula " as the double peaks of Hammam VJFkf, at 
the very bottom of the Gulf, far beyond the lagoon of Tunis ; though the impressions 
of a traveller are most hkely to be the faithful reproduction of those made on an 


bay west of C. Camart, into -wliicli the Trojan vessels entered. 
.... Once in tliis little harbour, they were perfectly safe, par- 
ticularly during the prevalence of the E.S.E. wind, the force of 
which is first broken by C. Carthage, then by C. Camart, and 
finally by the eastern rocky projection of the harbour itself." * The 
!N^ymph's Grotto may well have been an imaginary scene, which 
the poet required for a subsequent puq^ose ; and the caves of these 
sea-beaten rocks may have been swept away by the violence of the 
northwest winds, or covered by the sea. " But notwithstanding 
this," adds the traveller, " I am able to point out the remains of a 
cave with ' hving water ' dripping from the solid rock, and that 
only a few hundi-ed yards from where the vessels were at anchor." 
While his followers kindle a fire, and dry and pound their com, 
^neas ascends a rock which commands a fine prospect over the 
sea, but not a word is said yet of any view of Carthage. This is 
doubtless C. Camart, from which the city would be hidden by the 
intervening height of Jebel Khawi, or the " Hill of the Catacombs." 
He looks in vain for his scattered ships ; but to landward he sees 
a herd of deer, seven of which are soon shot down for his seven 
ships. Turning from the poet to the traveller, we read : — " For 
miles around the secluded spot of Camart there are, even now, 
* groves black with frowning shade,' and here the dales and valleys 
were, no doubt, anciently teeming with herds of stags. These 
timid animals were not only driven from their native wilds by 
the accumulation of human dwellings, but by the incessant havoc 
caused among them by the numerous huntsmen of a populous city 
in such close proximity. Other wild beasts, such as the wolf and the 
hyena, living in caves and hollows in the rocks, have retained their 
original strongholds, and some are even now occasionally killed by 
the indifierent Arab sportsmen." The next morning ^neas again 
mounts the hill with Achates, and advancing through the wood 
he meets his divine mother, disguised as a Tyrian huntress, who 
points out Carthage, and relates the adventures of Dido : — 

" Punica regna vides, Tyrios, et Agenoris urbem ; 
Sed fines Libyci, genus intractabile bello." 

ancient voyager approaching from the same direction. The " twin rocks " of Virgil cer- 
tainly seem to be those at the very base of which " the safe waters are hushed " — which 
would apply rather to C. Camart, with C. Carthage seen beyond it ; and the " minantur 
in ccelimi," said of headlands only 300 and 400 feet high, may pass as a poetical exag- 
geration. Dr. Barth ( Wanderungen, d;c.\ who is a very high authority, conjectures that 
the whole isthmus is of late formation, and that these two headlands were once separate 
rocky islands. At all events, C. Camart may well have been an island, when the land 
of FjUMersa was under water. 

* Davis, Carthage, chap, xv, " The African Landing-place of Virgil's Hero." 


This must have been a general view from, the summit of Jebel 
Khawi, at the distance of about four miles. Venus bids ^neas 
and his companion proceed straight forward : — 

" No more advice is needful ; but pursue 
The path before you, and the town in view." * 

Following this direction, they mount another eminence, from the 
slope of which they obtain a view of the whole scene of busy 
work : — 

" They climb the next ascent, and, looking down, 
Now at a nearer distance view the town. 
The prince with wonder sees the stately towers. 
Where late were huts, and shepherds' homely bowers, 
The gates and streets ; and hears, from ev'ry part, 
The noise and busy concourse of the mart." f 

" The height Yirgil now alludes to," says Dr. Davis, " is that 
called Sidi Bousaid, or Cape Carthage. It is the most prominent 
eminence on the whole of the peninsula, being 393 feet above the 
level of the sea, and strictly ' overhangs the city.' It is only one 
mile from Byrsa, the citadel, whose towers were directly oppo- 
site to it. From its heights the Trojans could clearly distinguish 
the gates and the various edifices. The din and noise of the work- 
men were perfectly audible, particularly as it is more than probable 
that stones from the very hill on which they stood were then actu- 
ally being quarried for building some of the public edifices of the 
rising city. There are plain indications which prove that the hill 
of Sidi Bousaid was anciently quarried, and this is corroborated by 
the affinity between the formation of this vast rock and some of 
the stones dug up at our excavations. Besides, the city actually 
extended towards this hill, and the wall was scarcely half a mile 
from it, as is amply apparent from the remains of the sea-gate, 
which is almost at its foot." 

From the point thus defined, that part of Carthage which may 
be called the city proper, lay to the S.W., along the southeastern 
shore of the peninsula, with the principal public buildings upon 
the heights behind, which form the prolongation of Cape Carthage. 
The extent of this city,:}: as determined partly by the few remains 
of the walls, and partly by the great cisterns, which are known to 

* " Perge modo, et, qu^ te ducit via, dirige gressum